Saturday, December 17, 2016

Pakistan: Dulmial's Ahmadi place of worship remains closed to public


No resident of the village or its adjoining areas was willing to go on the record despite repeated efforts. The fear of being implicated — with over 40 protesters and two Ahmadis behind bars — looms large.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: The Express Tribune
By Rana Tanveer | December 17, 2016

'... a palpable sense of fear envelopes Dulmial'

CHAKWAL: Baitul Zikr — the century-old Ahmadiyya worship place recently besieged by over 1,000 anti-Ahmadiyya protesters — remains out of out-of-bounds for the public.

A policeman deployed at the site told The Express Tribune that he had been expressly prohibited from letting media near the site. He said only those possessing written permission from the Chakwal DCO could visit the place. Reiterating what the policeman said, a military man posted at the spot said even the public was not allowed to venture on the street leading to the now sealed structure.

Contradicting the statements of the two, DCO Javed Bhatti said he had given no instruction to that effect. He said the worship place had been sealed under Section-145 of Criminal Procedure Code and the matter was subjudice. Only the court, the DCO said, could allow people to visit the site and unseal the building.

Mahmood Khan of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said he had gone to Chakwal as part of a fact-finding mission to inspect the structure on Saturday. He said military personnel had not even allowed members to enter a street leading to the worship place.

Khan said it was illegal to curb citizens’ movement. He said prohibiting them from inspecting the site was a confession of failure on part of the district administration.

Meanwhile, a palpable sense of fear envelopes Dulmial, where the worship place is situated. No resident of the village or its adjoining areas was willing to go on the record despite repeated efforts. The fear of being implicated — with over 40 protesters and two Ahmadis behind bars — looms large.


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