JuD forcible occupy mosque in Pakistan

Armed activists of the Jamaat-ud-Dawah forcibly occupied a mosque in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi for several hours.

Updated: Oct 14, 2011, 22:22 PM IST

Islamabad: Armed activists of the
Jamaat-ud-Dawah forcibly occupied a mosque in the Pakistani
garrison city of Rawalpindi for several hours, before police
conducted negotiations with them and allowed them to leave the
area.

Dozens of JuD activists took over of Marlazo Jamia
Masjid in Gulzar-e-Qaid area near the Rawalpindi airport on
Wednesday night following a quarrel with members of another
group, local residents and police told the media.

A police contingent led by SSP (Operations) Yasin
Farooq held negotiations with the armed men for 16 hours to
get them to end the siege.

After the negotiations ended successfully, the armed
men were allowed to cover their heads as they were escorted
out of the mosque by policemen.

Local residents and other sources said that none
of the JuD activists involved in the incident were arrested
and that no case had been registered so far by police.

The JuD takeover of the mosque triggered a protest
by local residents and members of the Jamaat-e-Ehl-e-Sunnat
and other groups, who blocked the Airport Road for several
hours.

"The real issue is sectarian (in nature) as a
retired army officer residing near the mosque was not happy
with the practices carried out by a majority of the
worshippers
over there," Muhammad Ali, who lives near the mosque, told The
Express Tribune.

The protesters who opposed the occupation of the
mosque stoned the residence of the retired army officer.
However, nobody was willing to reveal the name of the
officer.

A senior unnamed police officer confirmed to the
daily that the men who occupied the mosque were members of a
banned group.

SSP Farooq told the media that a thorough
investigation of the matter will be conducted and "befitting
legal action" will be taken against those involved.

The incident occurred six days after some 60 masked
men, reportedly students of a madrassa, stormed a girls
school in Rawalpindi and beat up some students.

The attackers demanded that the girls should wear the
hijab.

Police failed to arrest the attackers and officials
later told the media that they were directed not to take any
action.

PTI