The grieving students in Jamia Binoria held a massive protest outside the seminary on Friday. They were protesting the killing of two of their teachers and a fellow student.
Mufti Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, the vice president of Binoria seminary, his colleague Mufti Saleh and student Hassan Ali were killed in a brazen attack on Sharae Faisal near Nursery on Thursday. Their funeral prayers were offered later the same day.
The protest after Friday prayers was attended by thousands of people, including Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan (JUI-P) workers and supporters. The road from Guru Mandir to the central jail was blocked for traffic during the protest while several policemen were also deployed.
JUI Pakistan’s general secretary Senator Maulana Abdul Ghaffor Hyderi, JUI Karachi chief Qari Muhammad Usman and general secretary Maulana Muhammad Ghayas addressed the participants and demanded the government arrest the culprits.
In his address, Maulana Hyderi gave the government and law enforcement agencies three days to arrest the culprits. “If our demands are not met in three days, we will go on a countrywide strike,” he warned. “More than 1.7 million seminary students and their families, and 1.5 million JUI members and their families, will be on the roads.” The seminary teachers will conduct their classes on the roads, he added.
Meanwhile, Maulana Muhammad Ghayas appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the targeted killings of Deoband scholars.
As the students mourned the death, several of them warned the government to be prepared for the worst. “Right now we are on the road holding a peaceful protest,” a student Abdul Majeed told The Express Tribune. “Imagine if all seminary students take to the streets and turn this into a violent protest, then neither the government nor the country will survive.” He pleaded the government prevent them from resorting to violence.
The protesters were upset that the government has made no visible efforts to stop targeted killings. “Why don’t the government and the law enforcement agencies admit that they have failed completely, or are they involved in the violence?” asked another student, Muhammad Noman.
“Anti-state and anti-Islamic elements are behind Mufti Deenpuri’s target killing,” said ASWJ chief Allama Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi. Referring to Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s prophetic statements, he asked, “Why doesn’t the apex court conduct an inquiry on his statements?”
Meanwhile, police registered an FIR for the Anti-Terrorism Act against unidentified persons on behalf of Liaquat Ali Shah, father of a student, Hassan Ali, who lost his life in the same attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2013.