Police bar Ahmadis from entering worship centre

Protester says congregational prayer followed by demonstration was planned in case Ahmadis were allowed to enter.

Azam Khan March 02, 2012

RAWALPINDI: Complying with the demands of the locals, the police on Friday barred Ahmadis from entering their worship centre in Satellite Town, Rawalpindi.

Leading the locals, businessman Sharjeel Mir told The Express Tribune that three days back on a consensus, it was decided to prevent any sort of worship in the centre.

Mir said that at a meeting called by the locals which was attended by DCO Saqib Zafar, Superintendent of Police Matloob Hussain, ulemas and other officials, it was decided that the worship centre will now be used only as a residence and if their demands are not met, then they will launch a protest.

The businessman also said that a congregational prayer followed by a demonstration outside the worship centre was planned in case the consensus was degraded.

Today, fearing a huge turnover at the expected protest, the police had barred Ahmadis from entering the premises.

A representative of the Ahmaddiya community told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity that the police officials present there kept telling them that the move had been made to prevent any possible scuffle as a result of the protest.

The police confined the Ahmadis present inside the worship place and barred the ones coming from outside.

The Ahmaddiya community representative further said that the prayers scheduled for today have been hindered.

A deadline of March 1 had been set by a religious group for the fulfilment of their demands by the Ahmadis.

Last Friday, around 700 locals had gathered outside the same worship centre, demanding the removal of barricades and CCTV cameras installed outside it.

Backed by a Jihadi organization, the protestors had alleged that “unconstitutional” activities were being carried out in the worship centre.

However, the community had emphasised that they had committed no unlawful activities and had pleaded that the hate campaign be stopped so they could feel safe in the area.

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