No Peace Even After Death: Charged Crowd Prevents Burial Of Ahmadi Man In Joint Graveyard Of Sheikhupura

Given threats, the family of the deceased decided to take the body 125 km away from their native village for burial in Rabwa

No Peace Even After Death: Charged Crowd Prevents Burial Of Ahmadi Man In Joint Graveyard Of Sheikhupura

Religious extremists have allegedly prevented the burial of an Ahmadi man in a graveyard in Sheikhupura on Monday.

Fazal Kareem, a member of the Ahmadiyya community, passed away on January 28, 2024. The next day, his family finalised arrangements for his burial in the joint graveyard located in the village of Sahwala in Sheikhupura district. The joint graveyard in the village is spread over a kanal of land and is officially designated for the burial of Ahmadis. It is pertinent to mention here that two Ahmadis have previously been buried in the same graveyard.

A grave was dug for the deceased, along with other arrangements by non-Ahmadis. The burial was about to be carried out peacefully, with no objection raised by anyone in the village. However, when a local religious cleric returned to the village and learned about the impending burial and started raising objections. 

The cleric allegedly manhandled the man who had announced the burial of an Ahmadi man. He then started gathering clerics from neighbouring areas and villages to physically prevent the burial.

After drawing a large crowd, he allegedly incited them through fiery speeches to fill the empty grave without the body.

A large number of people, armed with sticks and shovels, descended upon the graveyard. There were claims that some extremists linked to the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were also present, however this could not be confirmed.

Videos from the incident showed the elderly undertakers and caretakers of the graveyard were bound, tortured and verbally abused as the charged crowd furiously filled the grave. 

The miscreants later buried their digging tools and slabs in the grave to prevent them from being used to dig another grave.

Upon receiving information about the incident, a large contingent of police reached the spot in four vehicles. However, they did not appear to intervene.

While keeping in view the situation, the family of the deceased decided to bury Fazal in Rabwa, which is located approximately 125 kilometres away from Sahwala village.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this news story suggested that the body had been buried and had been exhumed. Facts emerging later suggest this is incorrect. Relevant corrections have been made in this story to reflect that fact.