The secretary general of a village level Ahmadi community was gunned down in Ghatialian, Sialkot on Thursday night.
DPO Sialkot, Afzal Kausar told The Express Tribune that Riaz Ahmed Basra, 53, was not killed due to religious hatred, instead, the motive appeared to be “personal enmity.”
Basra was the secretary of general affairs of the Ahmadi community in the village, where about 2000 members of the Ahmadi community reside and form the majority population.
The general secretary and his family reportedly fostered a decade long enmity with another family of the area which belongs to the Shia community. In 2001, Basra’s elder brother was targeted due to the enmity. A member of the opposite group was also subsequently killed.
The police say that Thursday’s murder could be linked to the same dispute.
However, Ahmadi community members of the area disagreed with the police over the possible motive.
They alleged that for the past two years, the community has been embroiled in a tussle with local clerics and their cohorts which bred tension. The conflict precipitated into confrontation over the construction of “Bait-uz-Zikar”, a place for the Ahmadi community in Ghatialian to worship.
Qari Afzal, of the Barelvi sect, has a seminary near the village. He approached the police over the construction of Ahmadi worship place. When the tension escalated two months ago, the police took the case to the Lower Court of Pasroor, where the case is being heard under section 145 CrPc.
Secretary of general affairs of Ahmadi community in Sialkot, Qasim Ahmad Sahi says that anti-Ahmadi clerics used their influence and provoked the murder of Riaz Ahmed Basra by colluding with Basra’s opponents.
Police though have registered an FIR under section 302 PPC after an application by the Ahmadi community was filed. At least one suspect had been arrested at the time of filing of this report.