December 16, 2016 7:05:51 pm
About 3,000 people have been booked by police in connection with the attack on the place of worship of the minority Ahmadi community in Pakistan’s Punjab province that resulted in the killing of two persons. The incident took place at Dulmiyal village of Chakwal district, some 275 km from Lahore, a few days ago.
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According to the FIR, police booked about 3,000 people under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, including the Anti-Terrorism Act and blasphemy laws. Some 70 suspects have been named in it, including members of Ahmadi community. Police claim to have arrested 31 suspects — 29 Muslims and two Ahmadis.
The government has also imposed section 144 in Chakwal under which no gathering of four or more persons is allowed. The army and Rangers personnel have been deployed in the Dulmiyal village and other parts of the district to control the law and order situation.
On December 12, clerics made an announcement from the village mosques asking the people not to allow Ahmadis to worship at their worship place — Baitulzikar — as it was the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad. According to the FIR, the mob which swelled to 3,000, surrounded the Ahmadi worship place and pelted stones on it.
The guards present at the worship place opened fire on those trying to force their entry into the complex that resulted in the killing of a man. The Ahmadis claimed one of their persons was also got killed. Police later reached the spot and managed to disperse the crowd. Ahmadi community members in Dulmiyal have left the village because of security concerns, Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan Punjab spokesman Amer Mahmood said.
He said some 500 Ahmadi families were living in the village before the attack. “Most of them left the village for their relatives esidences in the province,” he said.
Three clerics leading some 3,000 people in a procession had incited anti-Ahmadi sentiment and urging them to take over the Ahmadi place of worship, a police official said.
Pakistan’s parliament declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974, and they have repeatedly been targeted by Islamic extremists, who view them as heretics. They have also been taken to court on blasphemy charges.
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