LAHORE: Months after being shunned on religious differences, a local Ahmadi leader and his family were attacked by an unruly mob in a Punjab village – while the police looked on.
The incident took place in Shamasabad village of Kasur district late Monday night and came following two months of tensions between Ahmadi families and other residents of the village.
Locals, who declared ‘jihad’ on the village’s Ahmadi families, attacked local leader Maqsood Ahmed Anjum’s house; breaking down the doors and ransacking his property. They also roughed up residents of the house, including Anjum’s wife.
At the urging of the village’s clerics, locals are said to have been regularly rallying outside the house of the Ahmadi leader, chanting slogans against his faith.
Moreover, for the past two months, villagers had socially alienated 14 Ahmadi families in the village, with doctors refusing to treat them, schools unwilling to admit their children, shopkeepers not selling them groceries, barbers denying them haircuts and neighbours refusing to acknowledge them.
Furthermore, as part of their ‘jihad’, residents also tampered with the electric supply of the Ahmadi residents and warned the families to renounce their faith.
To avoid any untoward incident, the police had also been deployed on the spot.
This, however, proved to be futile.
See no evil?
Although large contingents of police were present, none of them attempted to resist Monday’s attack. On the other hand, local police are trying to paint a different picture, insisting that the attack was a result of personal enmity.
Chunian Police Station SHO Malik Tariq told The Express Tribune that the Ahmadi leader, Anjum, had attacked a non-Ahmadi youth, following which the mob attacked his house.
the police official did admit that tension was brewing for the past two months and that the police was present at the time of the attack.
He also admitted that some religious clerics had incited the hostility against the Ahmadi families in the area. Furthermore, he said a case had not been registered yet and the police would only do so once a complaint was registered.
Anjum, who is admitted at the Chunian Hospital, told The Express Tribune that he and his family were targeted as he is the head of the community in the area. He said they were warned by the villagers to leave either their faith or the area, where they had been living since before partition.
The community leader added that the locals had been, for quite some time, rallying outside his house and on Monday, they broke in. His wife, children and uncle sought refuge in a room at the back of the house, but the mob broke all the doors and dragged him out and subjected him to ‘severe torture’. Anjum alleged that his wife was also beaten up.
Malik Sarfaraz, former chairman of the union council, while speaking to The Express Tribune confirmed that the Ahmadi families in villages had been socially boycotted.
In a press statement, Jamat-e-Ahmadia Pakistan spokesperson Saleemudin condemned the incident and termed it a result of an anti-Ahmadi campaign launched by some fanatics.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2013.
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