Members of the Ahmadi community in Chakwal’s Dulmial village have left the village because of security concerns, sources said on Wednesday, days after a violent mob attacked an Ahmadi place of worship.
Two people were killed and one injured in the attack. Among the dead was Malik Khalid Javed, an Ahmadi who was present at the religious site when the attack happened and suffered a cardiac arrest. His body was taken to Chenab Nagar, where he was laid to rest.
A number of people who went to the funeral have not returned to the village yet, and other families have left the village for their own safety.
“There are three Ahmadi families living next to my house, but they left their homes and moved to safe places after the incident,” a villager told Dawn.
“Their cattle are tied up in their homes. I arranged some fodder for their cattle today and gave them some water; the animals were tied up, hungry and thirsty since Monday,” he said. The villager added that many other members of the community have also left the village, and the few who have remained are guarded in their homes by police, Rangers and military personnel.
A member of the local Ahmadi community also told Dawn some families have moved from the village, but the district police officer (DPO) and the district coordination officer (DCO) have said Ahmadis are staying in their homes.
Army, police and Rangers personnel are still deployed in the village, where they can be seen patrolling.
The police have also arrested 32 people involved in the attack, two of whom are Ahmadi.
The FIR of the attack includes charges from the Anti-Terrorism Act and the Pakistan Penal Code. Lodged by Sub-Inspector Mohammad Nawaz, who is also the station house officer (SHO) of the Choa Saidan Shah police station, the FIR states that he, accompanied by 20 other police officials were deployed at the Dulmial Rabiul Awwal procession.
The SHO said in the FIR that three men who were leading the procession of 2,800 to 3,000 people incited anti-Ahmadi sentiment within the crowd. The leaders of the procession resolved to take over the Ahmadi place of worship, claiming they would take possession of their mosque from the Ahmadi community.
“The members of the procession, led by the organisers, moved towards the place of worship by violating the set [procession] route. The police tried their best to stop them, but they stormed the place of worship by breaking the police cordon and began [attacking] the main gate with bricks and clubs.”
The FIR said some members of the mob climbed the wall and entered the site, and two people present at the place of worship began firing. It said 46 people fled to their homes using a back door. One person was killed and three injured in the firing, and Malik Khalid Javed, who suffered a cardiac arrest, was found dead by the police.
The mob occupied the Ahmadi place of worship and began burning articles.
The police have nominated the four procession organisers and 35 participants, including unknown individuals. Two members of the Ahmadi community have also been nominated and, according to sources, have been arrested alongside 30 others.
DPO Masood Marath told Dawn: “A joint investigation team is going to be set up while we are arresting the suspects.”
DCO Mehmood Javed Bhatti added: “A meeting of the district peace committee was held today in which leaders of all sects assured the district administration of their complete cooperation.”
“No one is above the law. Every suspect will be treated equally according to the law,” he said, adding that a majority could not be allowed to usurp the rights of a minority.