A group of people vandalised an Ahmadi place of worship in Karachi’s Martin Road area for a second time in a span of nine months, police and spokesperson for the community said on Thursday.
Jamshed Quarters Superintendent of Police (SP) Farhat Kamal told Dawn.com that around 20 to 25 persons broke into the building and damaged minarets and window before fleeing the scene.
According to the official, the police rushed to the spot and obtained information from the watchman about the incident.
SP Kamal added that the police were trying to obtain CCTV footage to ascertain identity of the suspects. “But there was no power in the locality at the time of the incident,” he regretted.
Meanwhile, Amir Mehmood, a spokesman for the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in Pakistan, said the same worship place was also attacked in January 2023. A first information report was registered but no arrests were made.
Providing details of today’s attack, he said the incident took place around noon when a group of eight to 10 “extremists” entered the premises of the worship place using a ladder.
“The attack has resulted in massive damage to the belongings of Ahmadis inside the worship place, including windows, glass doors, wooden door, cameras, LED, tables, chairs etc.
“They also damaged and humiliated pictures of the founder of the Ahmadiyya community and its head,” he told Dawn.com. “The remaining two minarets at the worship place were also demolished.”
Mehmood added that the police was immediately informed about the attack but they arrived after the suspects managed to escape. “Efforts are underway to register a first information report of the crime.”
Today’s attack, the spokesperson added, was the fifth such attack on a Ahmadi worship place in the span of nine months. He highlighted that such incidents could be prevented if stern action was taken against the attackers.
Earlier this month, the Karachi police booked and arrested three persons for vandalising a place of worship of the Ahmadi community in Saddar.
A case was registered against the suspects at the Preedy police station under Sections 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 382 (Theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to the committing of the theft) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.