“We cannot force people to live in peace with Ahmadis if they do not want to,” Chunnia Police SHO Tariq Khan told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.
On March 25 a mob had vandalised the home of an Ahmadi citizen, Maqsood Anjum, in Shamsabad, a village of Kasur. They had also beaten his family and stolen valuables.
Caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi has taken notice of the incident and summoned the district police officer on April 1 to be briefed on the incident and the progress in the investigation of the case.
The Express Tribune has learnt that police have asked the nominated suspects to be available at the Chunnia police station if [and when] Sethi sends a special team.
SHO Khan said that two Ahmadi families living among a hostile population of 10,000 would always be vulnerable. A contingent of 20 policemen had been deployed to guard their homes even though the families had left the area on March 26, he said.
Khan said he was trying to get the Ahmadis to settle the dispute with the accused. He said he believed reconciliation would be effected in two days.
Zafar Malik, the complainant’s brother, he said, had not visited the police station since he had filed the complaint on March 26. He said he believed the families did not want to press the case against the accused. Khan admitted however that Malik had refused to withdraw the case initially even though the accused promised to ensure that the families were not harmed in the future.
SHO Khan said he had appeared in front of Sethi along with the DPO and had shared details of the case with him.
Malik said that the SHO had contacted him two days ago chiding him for not staying in contact with the police. “I told the SHO we had filed a complaint and submitted my brother’s medico-legal report and it was [now] his job to take action,” said Malik. The SHO had asked him to consider reconciliation, he said.
“My brother’s family has left the area for the time being as they felt insecure,” Malik said.
A non-Ahmadi neighbour said that the police had asked them to ensure that the nominated accused were available at the police station if the chief minister ever sent a special investigation team. He said they had agreed to do so.
“We would socially boycott the Ahmadis even if a settlement is reached,” he said, “It is best that they have left.” He said he was related to the Ahmadi families but wanted to have nothing to do with them.
International Human Rights Commission Punjab Director General Munawar Ali Shahid visited Shamsabad on Tuesday. He said even though an FIR had been registered and police had been directed to take action, the suspects had not been arrested.
“Several people here have told me that the Ahmadis had been socially boycotted for long. Police have taken no action to stop violence against them,” he deplored.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2013.