RAWALPINDI -  Police have arrested at least 27 persons belonging to Ahl-e-Sunnat and more than dozens from Ahmadi community in connection with a bloody clash that took place outside an Ahmadi place of worship (Darul Zikr) located in Dawalmial village of Chakwal on eve of Eid Miladun Nabi (PBUH), well-placed sources told The Nation on Tuesday.

On Monday, a charged mob besieged an Ahmadi place of worship in Chakwal and at least two persons were killed and more than three others were injured during a crossfire before a heavy contingent of police and army personnel brought the situation under control. The sources said the law enforcers were patrolling the village to stop further clashes.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Wasal Fakhar Sultan Raja, District Police Officer (DPO) Chakwal Munir Masood Marth and District Coordination Officer (DCO) Chakwal were reported to be present in the village to monitor the situation, the source said.

Meanwhile, the police arrested two persons belonging to the Ahmadi community for allegedly killing a man belonging to the Ahl-e-Sunnat sect by opening indiscriminate firing from inside their place of worship.

According to the sources, Police Station (PS) Choha Syedan Shah on a complaint of Station House Officer (SHO) has lodged cases against members of Ahl-e-Sunnat and Ahmadi community.

The area police have nominated 40 people from both sides besides registering cases against 3,000 unknown persons belonging to the Ahl-e-Sunnat and 20 others from Ahmadi community, the sources said. All the detained persons have been shifted to an unknown location for further investigation, the sources said.

They said the police carried out a raid in Dawalmial village early in the morning and rounded up at least 27 belonging to the Ahl-e-Sunnat. Similarly, dozens of people from the Ahmadi community have also been arrested by the police. Many police teams have been constituted to arrest the other accused, the sources said.

“Police are carrying out raids in different localities to arrest the fleeing accused,” said a police officer on the condition of anonymity. He said the situation in the Dawalmial village and its surrounding areas was still tense while police and the army troops were patrolling on roads and in streets to handle the situation. He said that the security around residences of Ahmadi community has been beefed up.

Another source told The Nation that intelligence agencies had issued a prior warning about a possible clash between the two groups on eve of Eid Miladun Nabi (SAW) but the police and the local administration did not adopt precautionary measures. “At the time of the incident, both the DPO and DCO were present outside Darul Ziker but failed to control the situation,” he claimed.

Earlier, an angry mob of around 3000 people attacked the Ahmadi place of worship. Reportedly, an Ahmadi namely Khalid died of cardiac arrest inside Darul Zikr. In retaliation, the Ahmadi members opened indiscriminate fire on the mob killing a man namely Naheem Shafique, 28, while injuring three others.

Haji Malik Rashid, a local member of the Milad Committee at Dawalmial, said villagers were taking out a procession in connection with Eid Miladun Nabi (PBUH) when Ahmadis opened aerial fire to scare the participants of the procession. He said the participants turned violent and attacked the Ahmadi place of worship.

“I was also taken into custody by police but released later on,” he claimed.

Rashid said a total of 580 people belonging to Ahl-e-Sunnat have moved an application to DCO Chakwal besides filing lawsuits to evacuate the mosque from Ahmadis that “actually belonged to Ahl-e-Sunnat”. An apex court has announced a verdict in favour of Ahl-e-Sunnat but the decision was not being implemented, he claimed.

Despite several attempts, the RPO could not be contacted for his version of the situation. “The DPO is busy in a meeting and cannot talk to you right now,” said an operator of DPO when called on the cellphone of DPO to get his version on the issue.