A mob stormed an Ahmadi place of worship in Karachi's main business district on Monday afternoon and demolished its minarets.
Later, police apprehended and booked three suspects.
Mobs gathered in the Magazine Line, Saddar in Karachi on Monday afternoon shortly after the Zuhr prayers. They stormed the Ahmadi place of worship called Ahmadiyya Hall located in Magazine Line, Saddar.
Armed with hammers, at least four men climbed to the top of the structure where minarets were erected and destroyed them.
Meanwhile, in the narrow street below, a mob gathered on either side, blocking the street, and chanted slogans of Khatam-e-Nabuwat.
The Ahmadiyya Hall, place of worship of Ahmadiyya community, is under demolition in Saddar by violent mob. It is located a few streets away from Preedy Police Station. pic.twitter.com/YTZsUwQGyN— Arshad Yousafzai (@Arshadyousafzay) September 4, 2023
The mob then dispersed only to gather outside the worship place a short while later in greater numbers.
Local journalist Arshad Yousafzai said that the Ahmadi place of worship was located just a few streets away from the Preedy Police Station in Saddar, but no police officers could be seen on site.
On Feb 3rd, an extremist group demolished the minarets of the Ahmadiyya place of worship located in Karachi's Saddar. Today, most probably the same group or another group, forcibly entered this place of worship again and caused destruction. pic.twitter.com/HHDLq8CWXQ— Arshad Yousafzai (@Arshadyousafzay) September 4, 2023
There're reports that a violent mob that earlier in the afternoon attacked and caused destruction inside the Ahmadiyya place of worship located a few furlong away from Preedy Police Station Karachi's Saddar regrouped at the location. pic.twitter.com/RqV5AwPXpu— Arshad Yousafzai (@Arshadyousafzay) September 4, 2023
The police did appear when the mobs reappeared and arrested some people.
Later, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab, who had studied at the nearby BVS Parsi High School, stated that three people had been apprehended while police was taking further action.
Action has been taken. 3 people have been arrested & FIR is being registered by Police https://t.co/IsITycJvrB— Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui (@murtazawahab1) September 4, 2023
Yousafzai said that this was the second time the place of worship had been attacked this year. The first attack came on February 3, 2023, when a group of men barged into the worship place and demolished minarets.
A representative of the Ahmadiyya Community stated that the mob also vandalized the place of worship apart from the destruction of the minarets and beat up innocent Ahmadis inside the worship place. He also confirmed that this was the second time the site had been attacked this year.
"Ahmadiyya community's place of worship was vandalized by extremists in Karachi today, just mere weeks after the tragic Jaranwala incident," the representative added, noting that Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar had promised that the state would stand with the oppressed yet the state was no where to be seen.
"Prime Minister Kakar you said the state will be with the oppressed. It's time to make good on your word and send a strong signal to everyone that Pakistan stands with its vulnerable communities."
The representative added that the worship had been attacked earlier this year in February and an FIR was registered but the culprits were let go of. "If prompt action was taken back then, today's attack could have been deterred," the representative added.
"Extremely sad how mobs using religion as an excuse for their bigotry are damaging our beloved country's image."
He added that this was the second time this year the place of worship had been attacked. The first attack came on February 3, 2023, when a group of men had barged into the worship place and and demolished minarets.