The capital administration and police have approached the family of Mumtaz Qadri after reports that his relatives and villagers were also planning to hold his chehlum on April 10.
Qadri was hanged in the Adiala Jail of Rawalpindi on February 29 this year for assassinating former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer in 2011. On March 27, Sunni Tehreek organsied a gathering in Liaquat Bagh in connection with Qadri’s chehlum and later the participants reached the federal capital and staged a sit-in in the red zone for four days. However, a few days ago, a religious party, the administrations of some shrines in the capital and a politician from central Punjab, who is affiliated with religious seminaries, separately announced to observe the chehlum on April 10. Officials in the capital administration and the police on the condition of anonymity told Dawn that “the religious party had threatened to observe the chehlum and take out a rally from Qadri’s native Athal village to the D-Chowk.”
Similarly, the administrations of shrines also announced to observe the chehlum. They also planned to hold a Quran khwani in the shrines and later reach the grave of Qadri to offer fateha. Likewise, the political leader also announced to visit the grave along with his supporters and students of seminaries, the officials added. To ensure that there is no security issue in the capital, the administration and police officials held a meeting with the family of Qadri. During the meeting, the family said they would observe the chehlum in their village and had invited about 40 to 50 villagers and relatives to the event. The family said they had nothing to do with other people and their acts. The officials were given a verbal assurance that the family would not join hands with anyone in observing the chehlum, a police officer said. In reply to a question, he said the family did not need a permission from the police or the local administration to observe the chehlum.
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But other people who announced to observe the chehlum and hold rallies would have to take permission. However, he added, the administration had decided not to allow such rallies. An official of the capital administration said the caretakers of the shrines had been asked to disassociate themselves from the event. They need permission to arrange Quran khwani outside the shrine premises such as on a road, hold rallies or go towards the grave in groups, he added. Another police officer said the politician from the central Punjab was also approached, who agreed to cooperate with the police and administration by disassociating himself from the event. On the other hand, the police and the administration are preparing to avoid a similar situation which was witnessed in the capital city a week ago.