Key seminary cleric shot dead in Rawalpindi

September 22, 2014


.— Reuters file photo
.— Reuters file photo

RAWALPINDI: The deputy caretaker of Taleemul Quran seminary in Raja Bazaar was shot dead in what the police said was targeted killing near the high security Qasim aviation base on Dhamyal Road on Sunday evening.

Mufti Amanullah, 34, along with an 18-year-old student was returning to the madressah from Chakri Road on a motorcycle when two motorcyclists shot him dead in front of the Wapda House gate. The student, identified as Mehmood, was injured critically. The deceased was son of Maulana Ashraf Ali, the caretaker of the Taleemul Quran madressah.

He had gone to Chakri Road to attend the foundation-laying ceremony of Jamia Umay Habiba al Binaat at Lala Rukh Colony.

Also read: Cleric among 4 shot dead in ‘sectarian attacks’

Soon after the killing, angry protesters, mostly students from different seminaries in the area, took to the streets and burnt an imambargah in the old tyre market near the Taleemul Quran Madressah.

Later, the body of a man was found from the rooftop of the imambargah.

Protesters set fire to imambargah, body of a man found from rooftop

The deceased was identified as Amir Ahmed alias Samandar Khan. However, his association with the worship place could not be ascertained. The residents of the area said Mr Khan operated a Tandoor in the neighbourhood of the imambargah.

When contacted, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Akhtar Umar Hayat Laleka said it was a targeted killing. He, however, added that the police would investigate the case from all angles.

He claimed that Mufti Amanullah and other prominent ulema had been asked to inform the police whenever they moved in the city so that police guards could be provided to them.

“But today, the police were not informed about Mufti Amanullah’s schedule to attend a function,” he claimed.

The police recovered a 30-bore pistol believed to be owned by the deceased and seven bullet casings of 9mm pistol fired by the assailants.

Soon after the killing, a large number of seminary students gathered at Fawara Chowk and Purana Qila and blocked roads.

Some protesters also set on fire an imambargah in the old tyre market near the Taleemul Quran Madressah.

Another group of protesters carrying sticks and rods marched on downtown city roads and blocked traffic on Murree Road at Committee Chowk and Liaquat Bagh.

Traders in the bustling Raja Bazaar and surrounding areas got panicked and pulled down their shutters.

Meanwhile, Allama Ahmed Ludhianvi, the chief of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat (ASWJ), condemned the killing of Mufti Amanullah and announced three days’ mourning across the country.

He said the killing was the outcome of the government’s negligence to bring the accused of Raja Bazaar sectarian violence to justice.

He said the government had given a free hand to terrorists to kill innocent people and religious leaders in the country.

It may be noted that the Taleemul Quran seminary was damaged during the sectarian violence in Raja Bazaar on Ashura in November 2013. At least 10 people were killed and more than 75 others injured during the violence. The nearby Madina Cloth Market was also set on fire by the mob.

The RPO claimed that since the 2013 incident six incidents of targeted killings had taken place in the city and police tracked down some of the groups involved in the crime.

“There might be some offshoots of the target killers who are yet to be tracked down,” he added.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd , 2014