LAHORE: Six minarets of an Ahmadi place of worship, Baitul Hamd, were demolished by the Kharian city police Tuesday night.
The demolition took place on the application of Saqib Shakeel Ghazi, Syed Iftikhar Kazmi and others from the Barelvi religious organisation called Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-e-Islam. It had been filed to the Kharian police station.
The application asked the police to take action under the Section 298 B and C of the 1984 ordinance, which declares it illegal for Ahmadis to act or look like Muslims, to practice or propagate their faith and to call their worship place a “mosque”. There were no court orders for the demolition.
Police personnel, under the supervision of DSP Sultan Meeran, assisted by SHO Kharian Sadar Police Station Raja Zahid went to the worship place located near Kabari Bazar, Pul Nullah in Kharian.
Ahmadi community spokesperson in Kharian, Nasir Dar told The Express Tribune that six minarets had already been demolished whereas the police would demolish the two bigger ones later on as one was attached to the worship place’s electric supply and the other would fall on the building if not taken apart with the help of skilled labour.
The Kalma written on the front of the worship place’s entrance was also removed by the police as well, and the complimentary quotes about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were whitewashed.
SHO Raja Zahid said, “Everything was done amicably and peacefully and 80% of the work has been completed.”
Zahid further told The Express Tribune that after receiving the application from the afore-mentioned religious organizations, two meetings with the Ahmadi community and the applicants of the religious organization were held.
Afterwards a committee formed by DSP Sultan Meeran decided that it would be better to demolish the minarets. Zahid added that “noted and respected citizens were part of this committee also.”
SHO Raja Zahid said that the decision to demolish the minarets and other similar actions taken regarding Baitul Hamd were done “after a mutual consensus of the parties involved and the Qadiani community members who were very cooperative”.