Several people belonging to the Ahmadiyya community were detained by the police for violating the Constitution, Gujranwala City Police Officer (CPO) Rana Ayyaz Saleem said on Thursday.

Earlier this week, a member of the Ahmadiyya community was booked in Toba Tek Singh district, at the complaint of an official of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), for sacrificing a goat on Eidul Azha.

The first information reports (FIRs) were similar to the five registered across Punjab last year against the community for sacrificing animals.

Separately, two members of the Ahmadiyya community were shot dead in Mandi Bahauddin earlier this month.

The FIR filed on Monday, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was registered under Section 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Section 298-C of the PPC elaborates on the penalty for a person of the Ahmadiyya group calling themselves a Muslim or preaching or propagating their faith.

However, a 2022 Supreme Court judgment ruled that obstructing non-Muslims from practising their religion within the confines of their place of worship was against the Constitution.

Dawn.com correspondent Imran Gabol said that people from the community had held a meeting before Eidul Azha where they had accepted that the community would not celebrate the event publically, however, the agreement was violated.

According to Amir Mehmood, a spokesperson for the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in Pakistan, at least nine FIRs were registered across Punjab against members of the community.

Data collected by the spokesperson claimed that three FIRs were filed in Sheikhupura, while one each was filed in Gujranwala, Rahim Yar Khan, Toba Tek Singh and Sargodha.

In a conversation with Dawn.com today, CPO Saleem said the detainees were asked to not perform any ritual similar to Muslims, but the special branch and police security teams found some of them violating the law.

He said they had provided security to 16 Ahmadiyya worship places in Gujranwala where they freely observed their religious rituals, adding that the police had detained some to maintain the law and order while no animal was taken into custody by the police.

Saleem said the district administration had issued six-day detention orders for some Ahmadis, however, they had written to the district administration to issue their release orders as Eid had passed peacefully.

The CPO asserted the police would not allow anyone to violate the Constitution and disrupt the city’s law and order.

According to Mehmood, the spokesperson for the Jamaat Ahmadiyya in Pakistan, Punjab police had arrested a doctor from his community and had mistreated his family.

“His crime [was] that he was raising a three-month pet goat. Police arrested him on June 17 and his whereabouts are still unknown,” he said in a statement.

“His family is worried sick, running from pole to post. They visited multiple police stations but they have been denied access to their loved one,” the spokesperson said.

“A peaceful Ahmadi doctor is missing because police found a three-month-old baby goat at his home on Eid. How can police detain an innocent man without a charge and deny access to his family?” he asked.

He said that another man was detained by the police in Gujranwala without any arrest warrant or detention order, adding that the police had failed to provide any information on the detainee’s whereabouts to his family.

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