Islamabad protesters refuse to bury slain JUI-F leader, two others

Published March 1, 2021
Traffic remains choked on Murree Road at Bhara Kahu on Sunday following a protest by seminary students against the killings. — White Star
Traffic remains choked on Murree Road at Bhara Kahu on Sunday following a protest by seminary students against the killings. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Protesters twice blocked Murree Road at Bhara Kahu on Sunday over the assassination of three people, including a leader of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazal (JUI-F), on Saturday night.

After negotiations with Deputy Commissioner (DC) Hamza Shafqaat, the protesters opened the road but delayed the burial of the bodies till the arrest of the killers. Mufti Ikramur Rehman, 35, along with his son Samiur Rehman, 13, and Habibullah, a seminary student, was going to meet his father after Isha prayers when they were shot dead.

Students of seminaries and local residents blocked both sides of the busy road which connects Murree and other areas with Islamabad at 10am by placing the bodies on it. At 1pm, the DC reached the spot and it was decided that the road would be opened and the police would arrest the culprits till 4pm.

However, the suspects could not be arrested till 4pm and the protesters again placed the bodies on the road and blocked it.

Mufti Ikram was shot dead along with son, seminary student on Saturday night

The DC, along with his team, again reached the area and requested the protesters to open the road and assured them that the culprits would be arrested within 24 hours.

After a written agreement, the protesters opened the road but decided not to bury the bodies and shifted them to a mortuary.

JUI-F Information Secretary Molana Shafiur Rehman told Dawn that Mufti Ikram was the prayer leader of Msajid Siddiq-i-Akbar in Bhara Kahu.

His father Molana Saeedur Rehman, a renowned scholar, is the imam of Masjid-i-Jawad.

“As both mosques are located in Bhara Kahu, after Isha prayers Mufti Ikram along with his son and another person was going to meet him when his car was fired upon with an automatic gun. We have decided not to bury the bodies as long as the culprits are not arrested. We will wait till Monday evening and then again place the bodies on the road,” he said.

JUI-F emir for NA-54 Molana Mohammad Irshad Hazarvi said the culprits should be arrested at the earliest.

“A number of religious scholars have been assassinated in the federal capital but the government has not bothered to provide security to them. We demand that security should be provided to religious scholars,” he said.

A police officer, requesting not to be quoted, said a few days ago a person associated with the seminary of Mufti Ikram had exchanged heated words with him and threatened him.

“We are sure that the same person is behind the attack as he has disappeared from the area and switched off his cell phone. We are trying to trace the person who belongs to Orakzai Agency,” he said.

When contacted, DC Shafqaat said the culprit had been identified and would be arrested soon.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2021

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