CHAKWAL: The Punjab government has asked the federal government to put the name of the main suspect in the Dulmial incident on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Haji Malik Rasheed Ahmed, a Canadian national who was living in Canada for the last 40 years, has been named the main accused in the Dec 12 attack on an Ahmadi place of worship.

He came to his native Dulmial a couple of months ago and allegedly mobilised a mob to besiege an Ahmadi place of worship in the village.

“Other than Rasheed, we have also requested for the name of Hafeezur Rehman to be put on the ECL,” an official of the Punjab government told Dawn, adding that the National Database and Registration Authority has been approached to block the identity cards of both men.

“Both men are at large and raids are being conducted to arrest them,” the official added.

Malik Rasheed Ahmed heads a charity organisation by the name of Muslim Hands in Toronto while Hafeezur Rehman is the former tehsil nazim of Choa Saidan Shah.

When Dawn attempted to reach Malik Rasheed on his mobile phone on Friday, the person who answered identified himself as Hammad Afzal Malik and said Rasheed was in a meeting.

He then handed the phone to Hafeezur Rehman who claimed: “The place of worship belonged to Muslims and the Ahmadis were illegally occupying it.”

Hammad Afzal Malik, who is the general councillor of Dulmial Union Council, said he would resign from his office.

“I am ashamed to be part of this government,” he said.

The Punjab prosecutor general has set up a special committee to investigate the incident which will be headed by District Public Prosecutor Chakwal Muzaffar Ali Ranjha.

The Punjab Home Department has also ordered setting up of a joint investigation committee which will be headed by a deputy inspector general of police.

Meanwhile, religious leaders of various organisations on Friday passed a resolution against the Ahmadi community during Friday congregations in the district.

“We are giving the government time to accept our demands peacefully. If the demands are not met, we will launch nationwide protests,” Sahibzada Pir Abdul Qadoos Naqashbandi, district president of the Almi Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwat, told Dawn.

The police, Rangers and army personnel remained on high alert in Chakwal on Friday and security measures were tightened at Ahmadi places of worship and a curfew-like situation remained in Dulmial.

“Only 60 or 70 people offered Friday prayers at the main mosque as most Muslim men have left the village in fear of being arrested,” a villager told Dawn.

He said that about 500 people usually attend Friday prayers in the mosque.

Section 144 was imposed in Chakwal on Saturday and may be extended.

Published in Dawn, December 17th, 2016