LAHORE: For Subhan Ayub, the death of his father in the attack on an Ahmadi place of worship in Chakwal was just the beginning.
After learning of his father’s demise in Rawalpindi, the man could not approach the village to collect his body for almost a month. When he finally managed to get back to his hometown, he found his house broken into and looted.
13 horrifying pictures of the siege on Ahmadi place of worship in Chakwal
For days, panic and fear had gripped Dulmial village, about 35km from Chakwal city, after a mob attacked a place of worship of the Ahmadiyya community on December 12. The enraged crowd took over the worship place and torched religious books, fans, carpets and other items. Two people lost their lives in the confrontation.
Khalid Javed, 65, died on the spot after suffering a heart attack during the clash. Another man, not from the minority community, was killed after being hit by a bullet. Extra contingents of police, Rangers and soldiers have been deployed for security in Dulmial.
“After police assurance, I reached my house last week and found all valuables, including gold ornaments, cash and prize bonds, stolen,” said Subhan while talking to The Express Tribune.
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Recalling the good old days, he said Dulmial was a peaceful place to live for Muslims as well as the members of the Ahmadiyya community but the latest incident had changed the dynamics overnight. “Not a single resident of the village, other than Ahmadis, have come to condole with me,” he laments. “Some are even shocked over my arrival in the village, as they were expecting we will never return.”
Subhan lives and works in Rawalpindi. His mother lives with him because of her bad health.
His father was the only family member living at their house in Dulmial.
After learning about the death of his father, the man tried to reach the village. Police, however, advised him against it owing to the sensitive situation, saying they would shift the body of his father to hospital, from where he could take it.
Finally on January 6, Subhan with his ailing mother and an aunt reached the family house. They found the main gate locked from inside and he had to scale the wall to open the door. When they went inside, the saw the iron grille of main room cut open and the safes broken. The family claims to have lost about 16 tolas of gold ornaments, Rs280,000 in cash and 15 prize bonds.
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Subhan said people used to deposit their money with his father for safekeeping and most of the stolen cash was actually of the area residents. “My mother and aunt have been inconsolable since then,” he said, adding the family has decided to leave the village.
Police have registered a case on the complaint of Subhan against unnamed suspects and started investigations.
Chua Saydin Shah SHO Malik Nawaz told The Express Tribune the case was registered under Section 457 (trespassing or breaking into a house by night in order to commit offence) and Section 380 (theft in dwelling house) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The police officer, however, believed an acquaintance of the family might have committed the theft as only the room with valuables was broken into and the other four rooms of the house were untouched.
Nawaz also said no other complaint of burglary at any other house of Ahmadi families had been received at the police station.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2017.
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