Recommend UsEmail this PageeGazetteAlislam.org
November 20, 2010
LAHORE: Eight armed men are said to have opened fire at an Ahmadi place of worship in Mughalpura on Thursday. However no casualty was reported in the incident. There was no police official present at the scene when the attack occurred.
A security guard, deputed by the administration of the place of worship, is reported to have shot once or twice in retaliation. The assailants, however, fired dozens of times creating panic and giving an impression of a terrorist attack, said a shopkeeper. Even after the incident, only one policeman was deputed to ‘secure’ the entire place.
Mughalpura police registered an FIR against unidentified assailants. Police, however, tried to degrade the incident to a “clash among two non-Ahmadi groups” and accused Ahmadis of trying to exploit the situation.
However, on the identification of local Ahmadis, police have arrested two accused who were later identified as Zaheer Ahmed ‘Fauji’ of Mughalpura and Rana Qurban Ali of Dharampura, and declared them to be behind the firing incident.
Saleemudin, spokesperson for Jamaat Ahmadiyya, told The Express Tribune that the police had arrested the accused with the help of CCTV footage provided by the administration of their place of worship. He said the firing was carried out with the intent of frightening or harming the Ahmadiyya community. Saleemudin said that some local elements in Mughalpura were resorting to “a hate campaign against our community”. He said some people have also circulated anti-Ahmadi pamphlets and there was even a signboard in a graveyard in Mughalpura barring the entry of Ahmadis.
Condemning police inaction and discriminatory attitude, Saleemudin said that they were barely able to get an FIR lodged after five hours of the incident. Before lodging their complaint, the police even tried to persuade the Ahmadis that the firing was not carried out against them, he said. Criticising the police, he said it was a routine matter that police favoured criminals against the Ahmadis.
Mughalpura Police Station investigation in-charge Inspector Munawar Dogar insisted that the incident had nothing to do with Ahmadis or their place of worship and said the shootout was the result of a clash among two local groups.
He said the accused, Zaheer and Qurban, had clashed with one Farrukh Bhatti of the same area on Wednesday. The inspector said although Bhatti was not a local resident, he used to frequent a barber shop near the place of worship. The accused opened fire on Bhatti in a bid to convey a message to him that they could kill him, he said.
14 casings of 30-bore bullets were seized from the areas while the police were also trying to apprehend their accomplices, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2010.