Pakistan's minority community Ahmadis have alleged that authorities demolished their 70-year-old place of worship in a remote village in Punjab province.
Bahawalpur (Pakistan), Oct 28: Pakistan's minority community Ahmadis have alleged that authorities demolished their 70-year-old place of worship in a remote village in Punjab province.
Spokesperson of the Ahmadi community Saleem-ud-Din said that the district police moved in over the weekend to demolish the mosque in Hasilpur, a Muslim-majority village with only about a dozen Ahmadi residents.
"The assistant commissioner of Hasilpur along with Baldia workers attacked the 70-year-old Ahmadi place of worship in Murad district and destroyed parts of the building without notice," Saleem-ud-Din said in a tweet.
However, Pakistani authorities denied the allegations and termed the action as part of an anti-encroachment drive launched on the orders of the district peace committee, led by the Deputy Commissioner.
"Ahmadis had constructed their place of worship some time back but had encroached upon the government land," Assistant Commissioner Chaudhry Muhammad Tayyab said, adding that two members of the Ahmadi community, who had resisted the operation, were arrested by the Hasilpur police.
Jammat Ahmadiyya Pakistan spokesperson denied the government claims of encroachment, saying, "It is important to note that this place of worship is built on property owned by the community in 161 Murad, Bahawalpur. It has remained the same over past many decades."
The assistant commissioner denied the charge that the action was targeted, saying it was aimed at stopping the local people from taking things in their hands.
He said that many other encroachments like toilets, platforms, rooms, shades and cattle-pens of the other inhabitants irrespective of their religion and sect were also demolished.
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