DUNYAPUR: Even in death, the Ahmadiyya community faces persecution.
In a gruesome incident late Saturday night, 29 graves in an Ahmadi graveyard were desecrated in Dunyapur, district Lodhran, around 100 kilometres away from Multan.
The community’s spokesperson Saleemuddin told The Express Tribune that unidentified people entered the graveyard and broke the plaques (katbe) of a large number of graves, while digging around 29 others. Only two graves that were made of marble were left concrete, he said.
Saleemuddin said local representatives of the community have approached the police and submitted an application for legal action, but no investigation has been undertaken so far. Police officials have asked the community to first rebuild their graves after which the issue would be further investigated, he added.
DPO Lodhran Agha Muhammad Yusuf while talking to The Express Tribune confirmed that the graveyard had been desecrated, adding that the area’s DSP is looking into the matter. The DPO said he would look into the case after investigations are completed.
The graveyard is said to be established in 1976, but Saleemuddin claimed that said it was made 80 years ago.
Religious tension is high in Dunyapur where around 15 families belonging to the Ahmadiyya community reside.
Saleemuddin said that around six months ago, a private school run by a member of the Ahmadiyya community was forcefully closed down by residents. People took to the streets and to shut the school where many Muslim children were being educated free of cost, he said.
The next face of persecution may be the take over business and properties of the community, he feared.
Unfortunately, this is not the first such incident. Around two months ago, another Ahmadi graveyard located in Haveli Majokan district Sargodha was dug up, humiliating and angering community members.
He said the incidents of desecrating graves of the Ahmadiyya community have increased over the last few months. He said that till now, a total of 30 such cases have been recorded in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2011.