Pak Army called out to quell riots against Ahmadis

Army called out to quell Jhelum riots


By Our Correspondent / Arsalan AltafPublished: November 22, 2015
Authorities called out the army on Saturday to quell violent protests triggered by allegations of blasphemy against employees of a factory in the northern Punjab district of Jhelum.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan ordered deployment of the army in aid of the civil administration to maintain law and order in Jhelum, the interior ministry said in a statement. Nobody will be allowed to take the law into their own hands, the minister said.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also convened a high-level meeting, where he ordered an investigation into the matter. “All necessary steps should be taken to maintain law and order in Jhelum,” he said, according to a series of short messages on microblogging site Twitter by an official of the provincial government.

The chief minister also directed the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order to visit Jhelum and review the situation. It all started Friday night when a mob gathered outside the Pakistan Chipboard Factory on GT Road, alleging that an employee inside had desecrated the Holy Quran. The mob then set fire to the factory, though no one was injured as all the workers had been evacuated by the time, sources said.

When District Police Officer (DPO) Mujahid Akbar Khan failed to negotiate an end to the protest, paramilitary rangers were called in to disperse the mob and clear the main artery.


A Rescue 1122 official told The Express Tribune Saturday evening that firefighters were struggling to douse the fire that has been raging on since Friday night. The amount of incendiary plywood, a raw material for chipboard, inside the factory was causing difficulty in putting out the fire.

After factory, mob torches Ahmadi place of worship in Jhelum over blasphemy allegations

Speaking off-the-record, the official said residential units on the factory premises were also gutted by the fire. Rescue teams from neighbouring Gujrat district were called in to help extinguish the fire.

Persisting tensions outside the factory also hampered rescue efforts. Rescuers had to abandon their operation as a mob gathered again on Saturday and set fire to a place of worship of the Ahmadiyya community in the Kala Gujran neighbourhood.

A senior official of the Punjab police, however, claimed the situation has been brought under control as angry protesters started shouting slogans in favour of the army soon after their deployment.

A deputy reader to the DPO told The Express Tribune the factory is owned by a member of the Ahmadiyya community. The security in-charge in the factory, who is also an Ahmadi, was accused of desecrating the Holy Quran, he said, adding that an FIR has been registered and the accused arrested.

Man from Ahmadi community killed near Lahore: police

The local head of the Anjuman Ahmadiyya Pakistan, however, denied the blasphemy allegations. In a statement, he said that people were instigated against the Ahmadi factory owner using false allegations of blasphemy. Around 70% of the factory and eight vehicles were gutted in the arson attack, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 201

Man from Ahmadi community killed near Lahore: police

LAHORE: Gunmen on motorcycles shot dead a 37-year-old pharmacy owner from the Ahmadi sect in Taunsa near Lahore, police said Thursday, the latest attack on one of the country’s most persecuted minorities.

Police said four gunmen on two motorcycles rode up to the drug store owned by the victim, Ikram Ullah, and sprayed him with bullets before fleeing.

“Ikram Ullah was killed on the spot while assailants fled on their motorcycles,” Saleem Niazi, a senior local police officer told AFP.

Read: Nabbed: Ahmadi worship place attackers in detention

Police are searching for the attackers, he said, adding that the murder seemed religiously motivated.

Saleem Ud Din, a community leader, condemned the killing.

“Continuous, seditious propaganda against Ahmadis all over the country is a primary reason of these kinds of incidents,” Din said in a statement.

Ahmadis were declared non-Muslims by the government in 1974 because of their belief in a prophet after Muhammad. They are frequent victims of discrimination and violent assaults, but it is rare for suspects to be convicted for attacks against them.

Read: Act of terror: Policeman guarding Ahmadi place of worship shot

Eleven members of the sect were murdered for their faith in 2014 and authorities failed to apprehend any of the killers, a report said April, highlighting growing intolerance toward the sect.



1 reply

  1. It shows who is the better Ruler army of Pakistan or Government of Pakistan who is unable to protect the citizens of Pakistan

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