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Home Individual Case Reports Case #3
Five killed, Mosque destroyed in mob attack on Ahmadiyya Mosque

Mid-Ranjha, District Sargodha: On Friday, November 10, 2000 around 09:00 PM a local Mullah Athar Shah led a procession, comprising of people gathered from 6-7 nearby villages. They surrounded the Ahmadiyya Mosque and started chanting anti-Ahmadiyya slogans. Some Ahmadis were present inside the mosque busy in Isha (night) prayers. The mob got violent and attacked the Mosque, completely destroying it and axing to death the five Ahmadis present there. According to reports Ahmadiyya community was receiving threats from local Mulla that they will treat them like their people treated Ahmadis at Ghatiyalian (Pasrur). Ahmadis tried to seek help from Police and were told to keep calm. When the Mosque was attacked by the Mosque, Ahmadis phoned the local Police but there was no action. When Police arrived at the scene, it was too late.

Here are the reports as they appeared in Pakistani newspapers.

DAWN - the Internet Edition

11 November 2000 Saturday 14 Shaban 1421

Five killed in sectarian clash
By Our Correspondent

SARGODHA, Nov 10: Five people were reportedly killed in what believed to be a sectarian clash in a village near Midh Ranjha, 60km from here, on Friday night.

The clash which took place at 9pm in Takht Hazara village also left two people injured. Reports said some people of the Ahmadi community allegedly injured Athar Shah after an exchange of hot words.

Shah sustained injuries and was rushed to Lahore. The news enraged the villagers who raided the Ahmadi worship place. After razing its walls they opened fire on those present inside the building, killing five and injuring one. One of the attackers was also killed.

Midh Ranjha hospital authorities said they had yet received four bodies. The Punjab governor has ordered a judicial inquiry into the killings.


12 November 2000 Sunday 15 Shaban 1421

Curfew-like situation in Midh Ranjha
By Our Correspondent

SARGODHA, Nov 11: A curfew like situation is prevailing in Takht Hazara village as a heavy police contingent has taken positions there after the killing of five Qadianis by Muslims in a clash on Friday evening.

Over two dozen people were injured in the clash. The Muslims of the area, comprising over 500 families, had attacked the worship place of Qadianis after the latter thrashed and injured a local religious leader, Maulana Athar Shah, of the Muslims.

They caught Mr Shah when he led a procession of a religious seminary's students and chanted anti-Qadianis slogans in front of their worship place. The Qadianis present there started beating Mr Shah and took him inside the building as the students fled from the scene and told the area's people that Qadianis had killed Mr Shah.

A mob of Muslims attacked the Qadianis worship place, broke open its door, razed its walls and rescued the Maulana who was lying inside the building unconscious. The students had taken out the procession to protest Qadianis remarks on an incident in which a teenaged boy, Ismael, lost his one hand in a grass cutting machine. The Qadianis said the boy was punished by God because he used to curse them (Qadianis).

Those killed in the clash were named as Safdar, son of Akbar, Mubarak, son of Jalal, Sharif, son of Nazeer, Mudassar son of Manzoor and Nazeer. Maulana Athar Shah is reportedly in a precarious condition at the Allied Hospital Faisalabad. No case has yet been registered by Midh Ranjha police.

A police post has been set up in front of the Qadianis worship place, while the district magistrate has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident.


13 November 2000
ASA 33/015/2000

Just 10 days after the murder of five members of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan, another five Ahmadis, including two children, were murdered in their mosque in Sargodha district.

"The official silence around the religiously motivated murders on 30 October and the lack of police investigation have directly contributed to a climate in which extremists feel encouraged to harass, attack and kill members of the country's religious minorities," Amnesty International said today.

As in the case of the earlier attack on village Ghatialian, months of tension over religious issues preceded the latest incident in village Takht Hazara in Sargodha district, Punjab. The local authorities took no action against anti-Ahmadi demonstrations and desecration of Ahmadi graves by orthodox Muslims led by the local mullah. They advised Ahmadis who approached them for help to remain calm but took no protective or preventive measures.

In the early hours of Friday 10 November, the mullah led a mob through the streets shouting anti-Ahmadi slogans. As they approached the Ahmadi mosque, people inside phoned police asking for protection. The mob swelled quickly, broke into the mosque and attacked and killed four Ahmadis, mutilating their bodies with axes. They then ransacked the building and set it on fire. One of the injured persons, a 14-year-old schoolboy, later died of his injuries. The police arrived when the incident was over.

"How many more people have to die for their religion before the Government of Pakistan takes action and clearly and publicly states that such violence will not be tolerated? Freedom of religion is a right laid down in the country's Constitution --it is time this was made a reality," Amnesty International said.


Ahmadis are considered heretical by orthodox Muslims in Pakistan but see themselves as Muslim. The Ahmadiyya community was declared non-Muslim in 1974 and a number of laws were subsequently passed which make it a criminal offence for Ahmadis to profess, practice and preach their faith. Dozens of Ahmadis have been charged with religious offences, including calling for prayers, preaching their faith or calling their place of worship a 'mosque'. Several have been charged with blasphemy under section 295C which carries the mandatory death penalty. This year in Sialkot district alone, criminal cases based on religion were brought against 23 Ahmadis.

Police investigation of some 20 killings of Ahmadis over the past seven years have been slow or did not take place at all; not one of the perpetrators has been brought to justice. Amnesty International has been informed that no police investigation has so far taken place into the killing of five Ahmadis in Ghatialian village on 30 October.

Related: Newreport November, 2000

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