TOBA TEK SINGH: The Garh police in Tandlianwala on Friday registered a case against 35 people of Okara’s Sheiku Sharif area for allegedly exhuming the body of spiritual figure Pir Syed Ali Bahadur Gilani and taking it to Okara for reburial there.

Gilani was laid to rest and a shrine built in his honour six months ago.

The suspects included two sons of Gilani from his first wife. The spiritual figure had left his first wife in Okara and contracted second marriage and settled at Garh several years ago.

Complainant Syed Shahzaib, a son of Gilani from his second wife, claimed in his FIR registered under sections 297, 395, 365, 186, 148 and 149 of PPC that his stepbrothers Hasan Raza and Kazim Raza -- residents of Okara -- and their 33 accomplices reached Garh at 2am on Friday by four vans. They broke the lock of the shrine and tortured him and devotees and held them up, he said.

Shahzaib said the suspects exhumed the body of his father and kept it in a van. When devotee Bilal offered resistance, he said, they kidnapped him.

Speaking to Dawn, the complainant claimed that he had come to know that the suspects had buried his father at an unknown place with the sole motive of earning money in the form of alms devotees give. He alleged that his stepbrothers had also illegally occupied his land measuring more than three acres worth millions of rupees and had yet to free Bilal.

Faisalabad police spokesperson Syed Muneeb Ahsan said the suspects tried to take away the body of Gilani back in July when he was about to be laid to rest but his devotees had foiled their attempt. He claimed that CPO Ghulam Mubashar Maiken had formed a team headed by Faisalabad Saddar SP Abdul Latif to probe the case.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2022

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