Imambargahs’ demolition: Committee formed to probe allegations

Jail chief rejects allegation, declines comment until probe is complete.


Shamsul Islam March 15, 2012

FAISALABAD:


A six-member committee was formed on Thursday to probe allegations against superintendent of Faisalabad Central Jail in of demolishing two imambargahs and a church built in the jail inmates.


The committee, headed by District Coordination Officer Naseem Sadiq, consisted of DIG (Prisons) Pir Muhammad Ibrahim Sialvi and Shia leaders Jaffar Shah, Dr Iftikhar Naqvi and Syed Tajammul Husain.

The committee has been asked to fix responsibility in the matter and to ensure that the buildings are restored. The committee will also evolve a strategy so that the Shia inmates can continue observing religious rituals during the month of Muharram.

Talking to The Express Tribune Tehrik-i-Jafaria coordinator Jaffer Shah alleged Superintendent Tariq Mahmood had razed the imambargahs to create a rift between Shia and Sunni inmates.

He said the imambargahs had been built over a decade ago. He said no untoward incident had ever taken place in the prison because of the structures.

Superintendent Tariq Mahmood refused to comment on the issue, saying that he would wait for the committee to investigate the matter and give its findings.

Talking to The Tribune before the formation of the committee, the superintendent had said that there was no restriction on the inmate to practice their religion. He had said that there was complete freedom of religion in the jail.

However, he had added, nobody was allowed to impose his ways on others.

Shia community had staged protests in several cities after the demolition of the imambargahs on March 3.

The Asian Human Rights Commission had also issued statements in the media accusing the superintendent of inviolvement in demolition of imambargahs in Barrack No 3 (for under-trial prisoners) and Barrack No 5 (for convicts).

It also accused the superintendent of defiling holy books and stopping Shia inmates from mourning during the month of Muharram.

The AHRC statement also alleged that the superintendent had demolished a church two days before razing the imambargahs.

It said the actions of the superintendent were in violation of Article 20 of the Constitution.

The statement demanded action against the superintendent and restoration of the three structures.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 16th, 2012.

COMMENTS (4)

Ali | 10 years ago | Reply

Is good at least some action has taken. I have no doubt that it is not only Tariq babar game. There must be some high officials are involved in demolishing Shia Muslim Mosques. Can't wait to see Tariq babar who is good only infront of media behind the same jail where he got power.

bigsaf | 10 years ago | Reply

He had said that there was complete freedom of religion in the jail. However, he had added, nobody was allowed to impose his ways on others.

Is he accusing the prisoners of imposing their religion? Interesting, considering what the superintendent has been accused of

It also accused the superintendent of defiling holy books and stopping Shia inmates from mourning during the month of Muharram.

Religious hypocrisy, bigotry and intolerance...no escaping it.

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