Religiously Motivated Murders – 2001

2001

 

Sheikh Nazir Ahmad of Faisalabad

Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, an Ahmadi of Madina Town, Faisalabad was shot dead at his home in early hours of the forenoon on July 28, 2001. The deceased was an official of the local Ahmadiyya community. He was in his seventies.

Madina Town had been a hot bed of anti-Ahmadiyya agitations for some time. The authorities were kept informed by Ahmadis of the gravity of the situation in the neighborhood. However, the authorities responded to political pressures, and always tilted towards the mulla. One and half year ago, they sealed the Ahmadiyya mosque; it has remained sealed since then.

The assailant was Behram Khan, a Pathan who was employed by local people as a watchman. He came to Mr. Nazir Ahmad’s house at about 8:30 in the morning, and knocked at his door. A child opened the door, but the visitor asked for an elder to come out. So Mr. Nazir Ahmad came out. The accused fired at him in the chest and wounded him grievously. Mr. Ahmad was rushed to the hospital by his family members, where he succumbed to the gun shot. Later, Behram Khan was arrested. He stated to the police that the deceased used to preach Ahmadiyyat to him, and had offered him Rs. 100,000 for conversion (a fabricated nonsense).

One Ashfaq Ahmad, the Nazim of the area, was at the back of this murder. He is an anti- Ahmadiyya activist and was interested in grabbing the plot of the sealed Ahmadiyya mosque. He was mentioned in the FIR.

Local mullas banded together to interfere in the police inquiry. They addressed their flock at night through loudspeakers of their mosques in an effort to agitate them. The next day they visited the police office accompanied by a crowd of their sympathizers to put pressure on authorities. Ashfaq Ahmad consequently was never detained.

Sheikh Nazir Ahmad is survived by a son and four daughters. For the last twenty years, he was the Finance Secretary of the local Ahmadiyya Community.

Accomplice to Murder Still Free

Faisalabad: Shaikh Nazir Ahmad, Ahmadi was murdered in Madina Town in broad daylight on July 29, 2001. The assailant, a local watchman was arrested but the man who instigated the blockhead to commit the heinous act was Shaikh Ashfaq Ahmad, the area Nazim, who was interested in grabbing the plot of the sealed local Ahmadiyya mosque. Ashfaq is mentioned in the FIR and should ordinarily have been taken in custody for police investigation. However, mullahs banded together and provided him full support to avoid arrest. Ahmadiyya Community informed higher authorities of the situation. The culprit nevertheless has remained free.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Abdur Rahim of Sahiwal

Mr. and Mrs. Abdur Rahim, Ahmadis were murdered for no apparent reason except their faith during the night of 8 and 9 May by some deranged assassins who entered their house.

The elderly couple, who were alone in the house, were subjected to torture. Their bones were found broken. They were taken to the bathroom and to its attached store room where they were tied down and tortured. Most of their suitcases had been left open but nothing had been stolen, as testified by their daughter who fortunately was not with them on the fateful night. Nothing was lost except the lives. This is significant.

There are significant indications that point towards religion as the cause of the attack. It is noteworthy that a son of the deceased couple was implicated in a false case along with a few other Ahmadis, and was awarded long imprisonment years ago by a Military Court during the rule of General Zia ul Haq. He was subsequently released by the High Court. Religious organizations have ever since been active against them.

 

Mr. Noor Ahmad and Mr Tahir Ahmad of Saddowala

Although subsequent to terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, the whole world was condemning terrorism, this did not deter anti-Ahmadiyya extremist elements from carrying out their terrorist attacks on innocent Ahmadis. They struck regardless. Mr. Noor Ahmad and his two sons, Ahmadis, were sleeping at their farm on 13/14 September night. After midnight, five terrorists who had covered their faces arrived and showered bullets on these unsuspecting people who were asleep. As a result, Mr Noor Ahmad and his son Tahir Ahmad died on the spot. Mr. Javed Ahmad was hit near the shoulder. He was taken to the hospital at Narowal. A guest who was also asleep nearby was hit in the stomach and was grievously injured. He was rushed to Lahore for treatment.

It is noteworthy that Saddowala is not far from Ghatialian where a year ago armed men attacked worshippers in an Ahmadiyya mosque and killed five of them.

 

Mr. Naeem Ahmad of Gujrat

Mr Naeem Ahmad, a 20 years old Ahmadi young man was murdered in his village Goleki, District Gujrat in the first week of October. Goleki has been a hot bed of anti-Ahmadiyya activities for the last few years. In collusion with authorities, the opposition arranged to seal the Ahmadiyya mosque there. Ahmadis are deterred from the use of the common graveyard and their assembly ground for Id prayers. Naeem Ahmad had links with Mr Mushtaq, a well-known local Ahmadi, and was residing along with him away from Goleki. Naeem was on a visit to his home village when the opposition killed him and dumped his dead body in the farm of Mr Mushtaq.

Non-Ahmadis find it convenient to raise unjustified property disputes with Ahmadis; they give it a religious colour and do not hesitate from killing their Ahmadi rivals. On numerous occasions, such non-Ahmadis have openly admitted in courts that they committed the murder as a meritorious religious act. Such admission works; often, they have been let go, scot free.

 

Mr Muhammad Akram  of Gujrat

This incident was a sequel to the preceding incident. An Ahmadi, Mr Muhammad Akram fell victim to assassins’ bullets at about 8 p.m. in the sitting room of another Ahmadi, Mr Mushtaq Ahmad of Goleki, District Gujrat on November 15.

The shooting incident was primarily a result of personal vendetta between two rival parties, however, the fact that Mr Mushtaq Ahmad is an Ahmadi, his opponents  found it convenient and useful to give a strong religious and communal shading to their quarrel. As a result, previously, in addition to incidents of murder, the opposition succeeded in getting the Ahmadiyya mosque sealed by authorities and in creating numerous difficulties for local Ahmadis to use a common graveyard. Use of the Id Gah for assembly for Id prayers by Ahmadis has also been made controversial. During the month of October, an Ahmadi youth in the employ of Mr Mushtaq Ahmad was murdered by the opponents. This month they struck again. At about 8 p.m. seven visitors were seated in Mushtaq’s house for a social sitting. At the time, a party of armed intruders surprised them, and opened up with a spray of bullets. As a result, one Ahmadi and two non-Ahmadi guests died on the spot, while four guests were injured. Having shed blood, the attackers fled from the scene of their crime. The police arrested one of the assassins the next day.

Preliminary police investigation showed that two of the assassins were members of a Jihadi gang. They were also proclaimed offenders, runaways from law, and were hired assassins. The arrested killer disclosed to the police that they were told by their hiring agent that ‘Ahmadis were going to hold a conference at Goleki, as such their services would be needed to protect Muslims.’ He also disclosed that the same team was involved in the murder of Naeem Ahmad, Ahmadi, at Goleki in October. The assassin named another of his colleagues, Baba Tahir who according to him was intimately linked with more than one Jihadi organizations. It appears that such types undertake violence and terrorism activities on both sides of the border on ‘payment’ basis. They are ‘on hire’.

 

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