CHAKWAL: The district administration of Chakwal has put three leading members of Ahmadya community under one-month detention allegedly to prevent them from offering sacrifice of animals on the occasion of upcoming Eidul Azha.

Chakwal’s Deputy Commissioner Quratul Ain Malik issued three separate orders for the detention of the three men on June 10 and the police later arrested them and sent them to Jhelum prison.

All three men belong to Dulmial village which witnessed a mob attack on a worship place of the same community in December 2016 resulting in the death of two persons. The worship place, a historic mosque built in the middle of the 19th century, had been sealed by the local administration after the attack and its fate still hangs in balance.

DC Malik in her orders, copies of which are available with Dawn, has stated that she received a report from the district police officer in which the latter alleged that all the three men “may cause deterioration for law and order situation in the area” and requested for the issuance of their detention orders under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order 1960.

The matter was discussed in the District Intelligence Committee held on June 10 which unanimously recommended that in order to prevent the sectarian conflict as well as law and order situation, all these three persons be detained.

Talking to Dawn, a spokesperson of Jamaat-e-Ahmadya Amir Mehmood said all three persons had been called for a meeting with the police officials and the assistant commissioner Choa Saidan Shah regarding the upcoming Eidul Azah on Monday.

“There was also the presence of the complainants (opponents of the Ahmadya community) in that meeting. Immense pressure was placed on the Ahmadya delegation not to perform the Qurbani. Furthermore, while being harassed they were told to submit a surety bond stating that neither them nor any other Ahmadi in the district will perform Qurbani”, he said.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International through a tweet urged the Punjab government to immediately release the three men and ensure that the Ahmadya community was provided protection, particularly during Eidul Azha to ensure they are able to peacefully exercise their religious beliefs.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2024

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