April 13th, 2021
By Staff Reporter
The Muzaffargarh police have arrested two Ahmadi brothers for having minarets as well as a mahrab in their place of worship. Both brothers were booked under Sections 298-B and 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Section 298-B of the PPC outlaws members of the Ahmadiyya community from the usage of epithets, descriptions and titles reserved for certain holy persons, while Section 298-C prohibits them to call or refer to their faith as ‘Islam’, or preach or propagate their faith. Violating these Sections is an offence punishable with a fine and imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years.
These Sections along with a few other amendments in the PPC and Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.) were introduced by former military dictator General Zia ul Haq through a Presidential Ordinance known as the “Anti-Islamic Activities of Qadiani Group, Lahore Group and Ahmadis (Prohibition and Punishment) Ordinance 1984”.
Earlier, a spokesperson the Ahmadiyya community Saleemuddin took to Twitter and alleged that a violent mob with the aid of the police attacked an Ahmadiyya place of worship in Chak 604.
A violent mob with the help of a contingent of Police lead by DSP Allah Yar Saifi & SHO Munir Mohana attacked an Ahmadiyya place of worship in Chak 604 TDA Naseem Pulley, near Chowk Sarwar Shaheed district Muzaffargarh. 2nd such attack in 2 months in Punjab only. pic.twitter.com/1ajBwS28Hr
— Saleem ud Din (@SaleemudDinAA) April 12, 2021
He added that the police allowed the mob to destroy the minarets and the mahrab of the building. He urged Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and police authorities to address this issue and release all the arrested Ahmadis.
However, SDPO Kot Addu, Allahyar Saifi denied the involvement of the police in demolishing the Ahmadi place of worship.
He told Voicepk.net that the police did not desecrate the worship place, rather only asked the two brothers to demolish the minarets and mahrab as the law and order situation in the area was deteriorating.
“Had the police not taken action, it would be very much possible that these Ahmadis would have been attacked by a violent mob,” Saifi said. The cop also said that the police demolished a grave stone affixed on the grave of the father of the two arrested Ahmadis because of the Islamic verses engraved on it.
It is the second such event in a month. On March 17, 2021, a mob demolished an Ahmadiyya worship place in district Gujranwala.
After the promulgation of the 1984 ordinance, a number of Ahmadiyya worship places were desecrated and demolished by enraged mobs and sometimes by official authorities.
According to Jamat Ahamdiya, at least 29 Ahmadi places of worship have been demolished between 1984 and 2020 while 43 places have been set on fire or damaged by angry mobs.
According to the data, at least 161 Ahmadis have been booked for using Islamic epithets since 1984.