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Over 1,000 people attack Ahmadi place of worship in Chakwal

LAHORE: Over 1,000 people participating in a procession organised in connection with Eid Miladun Nabi on Monday wrested control of an Ahmadi worship place in Chakwal.

The charged attackers were said to be looking for Ahmadis to harm them. Those present at the place of worship locked the building from inside and refused to concede control of the structure until police managed to prevail on them. The attackers are said to be raising slogans of their ‘victory’.

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Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya spokesperson Saleemudin told The Express Tribune that local clerics had been asking the Ahmadiyya community of Dalmial to handover control of Baitul Zikr to them.

After their demand fell on deaf ears, a large group of men, who took out a rally in connection with Eid Miladun Nabi festivities, ventured towards the place of worship armed with batons and weapons, he said. The JA spokesperson said the mob began raising anti-Ahmadi slogans upon reaching the site. He added that around 40 members of the Ahmadiyya community locked building instead of vacating it.

Upon discovering this, the protesters started pelting stones at the building and resorted to aerial firing, Saleemuddin said. The JA spokesperson claimed that the police were not able to control the demonstrators and prevailed on Ahmadis to relinquish control of the site to curb tension. DPO Munir Marth remained unavailable for comments.

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After gaining control of the place of worship, the attackers allegedly burnt properties inside the building, including carpets. They also washed the building to bring it “under the influence of Islam.”

“It was a beautiful place of worship place constructed 100 years ago,” the spokesperson for the community said.

The Punjab government tweeted, “As per the details, a misunderstanding developed between the two groups. Home Department is vigilantly following up the issue.”

Further, it said police and administration are making all out efforts to resolve the issue amicably.

The security of Ahmadi places of worship is tightened during Eid Miladun Nabi celebrations in case of any untoward incident owing to some instances of hate speeches during the month. Heavy contingents of police are deployed at their two major places of worship in Lahore at Garhi Shahu and Model Town. Both places of worship were attacked in 2010.

It is also pertinent to mention that since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the naming of the QAU’s National Center of Physics after noble laureate Abdus Salam, a new hate campaign has been initiated against Ahmadis by right wing elements, demanding the PM rescind the directive.

Courtesy : Express Tribune

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