An Ahmadi professor was found stabbed to death in her house in the residential colony of the University of Punjab (PU) on Tuesday.
This is the third incident of Ahmadis being targeted in the last three weeks. On March 30, a prominent Ahmadi leader, and cousin of noble laureate Dr Abdus Salam, was shot dead in Nankana Sahib, while a veterinary doctor was killed in Lahore on April 7. The banned Jamaatul Ahrar claimed responsibility for those murders.
The deceased Professor Tahira Malik had been working at PU on a contractual basis after retiring from the varsity’s Molecular Genetics department. She was teaching cell biology, DNA replication and repair, biochemistry and plant biotechnology at the post graduate level.
Professor Malik had been living alone in the house granted to her by the university as her husband had died a few years ago. Her only daughter lives in Karachi.
Muslim Town SHO Muhammad Ali told The Express Tribune that Professor Abdullah’s daughter, Aleena, had been calling her mother repeatedly since last night but there was no response.
According to the PU spokesperson, Khurram Shehzad, Professor Malik’s daughter then called her neighbours when she couldn’t reach her mother on her cell phone.
The neighbours reached out to the PU administration saying they suspected something was wrong. When PU guards broke open her door between 9am and 10am, they found Professor Malik lying in a pool of blood with stab wounds on her face and neck.
The spokesperson said the police was called in immediately. Officials of the Punjab Forensic Agency along with Counter Terrorism Department DIG and Iqbal Town SP also reached the site. He further said Professor Abdullah had reported a robbery in her house almost a year ago.
“The university administration will extend its full cooperation to the police for the investigation,” Shehzad said, adding the incident didn’t happen because of a lapse in security since there was no sign of a break-in.
SHO Ali said there was no evidence of robbery or break-in and all doors were locked so it seemed like someone she knew had killed her.
Only an Iphone was missing from the house, everything else including Rs50,000 in her purse remained untouched, said Ali.
He added police was investigating whether her faith was the motive behind the murder.
The body has been shifted to a hospital for post-mortem. An FIR has been registered upon her daughter’s complaint.
The spokesperson for the Jamaat Ahmadiyya Pakistan, Saleemuddin, said Professor Malik was Ahmadi and it was very likely that she had been killed because of her faith.
“It seems that notable Ahmadis are being targeted with a plan,” he said.
The news of Professor Malik’s death sent shock-waves among the faculty, students and university staff who have voiced their concerns over the incident.
In a statement, Punjab University Academic Staff Association President Javed Sami, Secretary Iftikhar Ahmad Tarrar and others condemned the murder.
The Islami Jamiat Tulaba (IJT) also protested the murder by taking to the streets. The student group’s activists blocked traffic on Canal Road and chanted slogans against the PU administration and security agencies. It is unclear if they were aware of Professor Malik’s religious affiliation.