37 men arrested for attacking an Ahmadi place of worship last year have been granted bail on May 6 by the Lahore High Court. The vice-chairman of the Dulmial union council Fiyaz Ahmed Fiazi was among the main accused and was also granted bail.
On Dec 12 2016, participants of 12 Rabiul Awal procession attacked an Ahmadi place of worship. The incident claimed the life of a Muslim youth while three others sustained bullet injuries. An elderly Ahmadi stranded in the place of worship later passed away as a result of a heart attack.
The police had been reported to have detained as many as 2,800 to 3,000 people in link with the incident but has only been successful in arresting 67 Muslims and 4 Ahmadis, who were found guilty by a joint investigation team.
Both groups signed a peace agreement in February, where elders of the Muslim community, who were involved in the incident, claimed that certain ‘outsiders’ had incited them to take control of the Darul Zikr by force. As per the agreement, both parties reconciled and decided to leave the issue of the Darul Zikr to the courts to decide.The Ahmadis of the village agreed to pay blood money to the heirs of Naeem Shafique, who belonged to the neighbouring village of Tatral Kahoon and was allegedly shot by an Ahmadi as he stormed into the Darul Zikr.
The Ahmadis of the village have also applied for bail to be granted for the four accused on their side before the LHC, but a date for the hearing is yet to be finalised.
“Naeem Shafique’s brother, Saad Raza has refused to accept blood money and has vowed he will fight the case in court,” a local who is part of the reconciliation efforts told local media sources. “For Saad, his brother died for a greater cause and has been declared a martyr by the ulema,” he said, adding that Saad had been brainwashed by some radical clerics.
“It is easy for him to fight the case as he is receiving funds from several extremists. He also does not have a problem with the situation in this village as he belongs to another village,” another notable said.
Raza registered a FIR against Ahmadis for killing his brother even though an FIR had been registered by the state on Dec 12.
Meanwhile, a JIT report obtained by local media sources stated that the primary organisers of the Dec 12 incident started preparing villagers for taking control of the Ahmadi place of worship since the beginning of Rabi Ul Awal. It went on to add that that two clerics namely Mohammad Munir Shaban and Irfan Mehmood, were called in from Lahore to deliver hate speeches during Friday sermons against the Ahmadis and told villagers to socially boycott them.
The report went on to add that the route of the procession was diverted towards the Ahmadi place of worship as a planned move. As it has been unable to arrest the two clerics from Lahore, the JIT directed district police officer Chakwal to arrest them which has not been done as yet. The main organiser of the incident, Malik Rasheed has since fled to Canada and no action has been taken against him yet.
Note: The Ahmadis of the village have also applied for bail to be granted for the four accused on their side before the LHC, but a date for the hearing is yet to be finalised.