Police Rip Off 'Minarets' From Ahmadi Worship Place In Jhelum

Police Rip Off 'Minarets' From Ahmadi Worship Place In Jhelum
Police in the Kala Gujran area of Punjab's Jhelum district tore down symbolic minarets erected on a place of worship frequented by members of the local Ahmadiyya community.

The community claims that the action was motivated by threats issued by members of a local religious group.

Members of the community said that police came under cover of darkness between the night of July 14 and 15 and demolished the small minarets which had been constructed out of plaster.

The community members said that a few days ago, Asim Ashfaq Rizvi, a member of the local chapter of the religiopolitical group Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), had warned the Jhelum District Police Officer and the district administration to demolish the minarets before Muharram 10.

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Should the district administration fail to do so, Rizvi had warned he would gather a mob to demolish the minaret in an act of vandalism.

Subsequently, on July 14, 2023, the local DSP called the management of the worship place and asked them to destroy the minarets voluntarily or else the police would be forced to take action.

The local Ahmadi community argued with the police office on the legality of the construction of minarets but in vain.

At around midnight, a police squad pulled up to the Ahmadi Place of Worship. The police officers first allegedly confiscated the mobile phones of Ahmadis present in the place of worship and took them to the Jhelum City Police Station, where they were briefly detained. Then, they proceeded to tear down the minarets.

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After completing the destruction of the minarets, the detained members of the Ahmadiyya Community were released.

Ahmadi, Ahmadiyya, Minaret
A view of the destroyed minaret atop a place of worship for Ahmadis.

"Instead of protecting the Ahmadis, the administration brought down the Minarets of the Ahmadis' Place of Worship to appease the hate mongers," said a spokesperson for the community.

"This situation is sad and a clear violation of the rights of the Ahmadiyya Community."

The community spokesperson pointed to a verdict passed by a three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jilani, who, on June 19, 2014, issued a judgement outlining guidelines for the protection of places of worship, which directed the formation of a special police force for the protection of places of worship.

The incident comes after several Ahmadis were booked, others were detained and scores were harassed over Eidul Azha.

READ MORE: Harassment Of Ahmadis On Eid-ul-Azha

Last week, graves belonging to members of the Ahmadi community were vandalized in Kotli while other graves in Sheikhupura were desecrated.