A cleric was gunned down inside a mosque in Rashakai, Risalpur, after he stopped a person from pasting posters igniting sectarian hatred.
Maulana Sirajul Haq Mir was offering prayers on Friday when the accused stepped out from the second row and opened fire, killing him on the spot.
Risalpur police official Haji Muhammad said the killer, Asif, was pasting offensive posters inside the Landay Sar mosque early Friday morning when Mir said they were offensive to people of different sects who visited the mosque. This sparked a verbal confrontation between Asif and the cleric.
Muhammad further said Mir was killed while praying, adding people in the mosque held Asif after the incident. “Residents beat him up and then handed him over to the police,” said Muhammad. The accused confessed to the crime during initial investigations and said he had done so over the poster dispute.
“We tried to seize some posters, but they have been removed and hidden by the residents,” the official said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2013.