Pak Ahmadi man forcibly exhumed from Muslim graveyard in Punjab province

November 3rd, 2010 - 6:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Nov 3 (ANI): Pakistan Police have reportedly forced a family of the Ahmadi sect to exhume the body of a relative because it was buried in a Muslim graveyard.

Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims but a 1984 law had not only barred them from identifying themselves as followers of Islam, but also put restrictions on their religious practices.

According to the BBC, Shehzad Waraich, a farmer in the Bhalwal area of the Sargodha district of Punjab province, died on October 30 and was buried in a shared graveyard designated by the government, but the police had asked his family members to remove his body from the graveyard.

Salimuddin, an Ahmadi community spokesman, said: “The police approached the relatives of Waraich on October 31 and asked them to remove the body from the Muslim graveyard as this could lead to a law and order situation. The family complied with the request and exhumed the body. They have now buried it in a different graveyard reserved for the Ahmadis several miles away from the village.”

Officials in the district however claimed that they had to take the unusual step after anti-Ahmadi Muslim groups threatened peace in the area, and added that the burial was “illegal”.

“They buried Waraich in a Muslim graveyard, which is against the law,” the BBC quoted Javed Islam, the Sargodha district police chief, as saying.

“Members of the Khatm-e-Nabuwat organisation and some local people approached the police and conveyed their objection to the burial. The objection was within the ambit of the law, so we acted accordingly,” he added. (ANI)

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