Pakistan: Another three Ahmadiyya worship places desecrated in Lahore by police

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 27 (ANI): In yet another attack on the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan, at least three of their worship places were allegedly desecrated by police in the Sheikhupura district of Lahore, reported Dawn.

The latest incident came after other Ahmadiyya worship places in several cities in Pakistan were attacked earlier.

The residents of Ahmadiyya have accused the Sheikhupura district police of their involvement in the desecration rather than providing necessary protection for their places of worship.

Notably, all earlier incidents happened in the districts of Sheikhupura, the first incident of desecration of worship place took place in the Kirto area of Narang Mandi, followed by the desecration in Nano Dogar in Sharqpur on September 23 and Bedaadpur Virkan near Muridke.

However, in every attack, the minarets of the worship place were demolished, reported Dawn.

People alleged that Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers pressured the police and local residents to demolish the minarets in Kirto Narang Mandi.

Earlier, residents from Sunni and Shia sects issued a written statement claiming peaceful coexistence with the Ahmadiyya people in their village.

But, a police team led by a superintendent of police demolished the upper part of the minarets and ordered to cover the remaining portions, reported Dawn.

According to a police officer, Ahmadiyyas constructed the minarets of the worship places against the law and was also told to remove them.

He further said that the police had received multiple complaints about Ahmadiyya worship places resembling Muslim mosques, which was against the law.

Earlier in August, the TLP staged a protest outside the district police officer’s office in Sheikhupura, where they demanded to demolition of all minarets on Ahmadiyya worship places in the district.

They further warned them that if their demands were not met, they would take matters into their own hands, reported Dawn.

Last week, the TLP threatened to raze the minarets of a historic worship place of the Ahmadiyya community in Pakistan’s Punjab, reported Dawn.

Reportedly, TLP announced a rally to be held on Friday over the alleged desecration of the Ahmadi community members of Islam’s Holy figures and the non-cooperation of authorities over the issue.

Moreover, banners were put up across the city along with the videos which were being shared on social media, urging people to join the rally.

Ahmadiyya community spokesperson noted that the worship place had been built before 1984 and cited a Lahore High Court ruling stating that their places of worship built prior to Ordinance XX of 1984 were legal and hence should not be altered or razed.

However, despite presenting these court orders to the authorities, their pleas went unanswered.

The spokesperson further alleged that Punjab police officials succumbed to the pressure from TLP protesters and initiated actions against their places of worship in Sheikhupura.

Reacting to the attacks, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) released a statement in which they expressed concern over the incidents, according to Dawn.

According to the HRCP, the Ahmadiyya community has witnessed at least 34 incidents of place of worship desecration since January.

Furthermore, the HRCP called on the government to take immediate action to protect the rights of religious minorities and assign special police units to safeguard these worship sites as per the 2014 Jilani judgement. (ANI)