‘Spiritual leader’ tortures 20 devotees to death in Sargodha: HumSub.TV
‘Spiritual leader’ tortures 20 devotees to death in Sargodha: HumSub.TV: A ‘spiritual leader’ of a local shrine in Sargodha tortured 20 devotees, including four women, to death in what appeared to be the outcome of a rivalry over custodianship (Gaddi Nashini) of the shrine.
Four others, including two women, were severely injured in the incident. The deceased included 11 members of two families alone.
The incident occurred at Darbar Barelvi Ali Muhammad Gujjar near Chak 95, just outside the city. The shrine was built about two years ago on the grave of Ali Mohammad Gujjar, a local Sufi leader.
Abdul Waheed, a 50-year-old retired government official, was arrested along with his two accomplices – Zafar Ali and Sanaullah – on Sunday after police found 20 bodies bearing signs of torture near the shrine.
Waheed was currently living in a house in Green Town, Lahore. He had worked as deputy director of the Election Commission Lahore and was on Leave for Preparation before Retirement (LPR) for one year.
Authorities investigating the matter stated that the suspect appeared to be paranoid and psychotic. One of the arrested suspects was an advocate. Another suspect in his statement to the police said that the prime suspect had many devotees who were well-educated and well-placed in different government departments.
He also revealed that he was also involved in many ‘immoral activities’, adding that he used to perform these activities at the Darbar. The suspect was an on-and-off visitor to the Darbar and moved to the place some three days before.
According to initial investigations, the prime suspect, Abdul Waheed, who was a ‘Mujawar’ of the Darbar, called on devotees to visit the shrine on Friday.
“He would call [them] in a separate room (hujra) one by one, ask them to undress, burn their clothes, then beat them up with clubs and axes with the help of his accomplices.”
“When the victim fell unconscious, he would remove them to another room. On the first night (Friday), the suspect killed four men [using this manner]. He killed [the] rest the next day (Saturday),” the report added.
An injured woman, who somehow managed to flee the incident, told the administration about the ongoing mass killing in the shrine, Deputy Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatta told the media.
After receiving the information, a heavy contingent of police, civil administration and rescue teams rushed to the spot and found 19 bodies. The bodies, 15 men and four women, all of which were naked and bore multiple stab wounds, were found in a house adjacent to the shrine in a pool of blood. Another body was recovered from nearby fields.
Besides, three injured people, including a woman, were also recovered and admitted to a hospital. The police also recovered clubs, axes and burned clothes from the crime scene, as the probe was going on to collect forensic evidence.
Talking about the possible motive, Chattha said Waheed had said during questioning that he killed his disciples because he believed they had fatally poisoned Muhammad Ali Gujjar two years ago, and feared they were planning to kill him.
Eyewitnesses and the people living in nearby villages said that the practice of torture had been going on for two years at the Darbar, adding they would hear screams of people.
RPO Sargodha Zulfiqar Hameed said: “Initial investigations suggest that the incident occurred due to some kind of rivalry for the control of the shrine and the attitude [mental disturbance] of the criminals (the accused).”
The police have registered FIR No.181/17 under sections 302 (murder), 324 (attempted murder), 186, 354, 354A and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
In his confession statement, Waheed said that he had been affiliated with the late Muhammad Ali Gujjar for the last 11 years, claiming that he had acted to kill the victims after unearthing a plot to poison him.
Waheed alleged that the plot was hatched by Asif Gujjar, the only son of the religious leader buried in the shrine. The 35-year-old Gujjar is among the 20 victims, the statement added.
A three-member inquiry committee headed by RPO Sargodha Zulfiqar Hameed has been formed to investigate the matter.
‘Spiritual leader’ tortures 20 devotees to death in Sargodha: HumSub.TV
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