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Mob attacks Ahmadis in Daska for ‘desecration’
By Ali Waqar and Zawar Hussain
LAHORE: A mob attacked an Ahmadi locality in Jhando Sahi village in Daska near Sialkot on Saturday afternoon and injured two people following allegations that some Ahmadis had desecrated the Holy Quran.
The mob also burned down two shops and a few houses in the village.
The district police arrived at the scene and arrested seven Ahmadis. They also shifted about 70 Ahmadis from the village for fear of more attacks. A case has been registered against the arrested Ahmadis under Section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). The seven men include Waqar, Nawaz, Zaheer, Fayyaz, Shakeel and Inayat.
Locals said that two men, Waqar and Nawaz, were burning some pages of the Holy Quran outside the Ahmadis’ Bait-ul-Zikr in the village. A neighbour saw them, rushed to a local Muslim festival being held nearby and told the people of the alleged desecration. A crowd rushed to the Ahmadi locality of the village and beat up Waqar and Nawaz. It also set fire to a few vehicles, two shops and a few houses belonging to Ahmadis. At this, the 60-70 Ahmadis residing in the locality fled the village.
Later on, hundreds of people belonging to surrounding villages demonstrated against the alleged desecration and chanted anti-Ahmadi slogans. The situation in the village remained tense and a large contingent of police was deployed to avert any more damage. Protesters from nearby areas had also started arriving at the village by nightfall, sources said.
The police shifted all Ahmadis living in the village to other areas. Sialkot District Police Officer Dr Tariq Khokhar told Daily Times that the police had “strong evidence” against three of the seven arrested men.
However, members of the Ahmadi community said that the men were burning their own journals and papers.