5. The Ahrar of Sargodha decided to take out a procession after the Juma prayers today at Sargodha city as decided by Sayyad Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari and Maulana Muhammad Abdullah Ahrari in their conference with the object of shouting slogans against mirzaeeat, Sir Zafrullah Khan and the Khalifa of Qadian. This matter was brought to my notice as soon as I returned from my tour at midday and the District Magistrate also phoned to me to make suitable police arrangements in the city. I collected my force immediately and wont to the city at 1.30 p. m. Khan Abdul Hadi Khan, Additional District Magistrate, also reached there as directed by the District Magistrate. When I and my party reached the Gol Chowk Mosque, a procession of Ahrar led by Maulvi Muhammad Abdullah Ahrari, Maulvi Saleh Muhammad, Mu’allam of Siraj-ul-Uloom, and Abdur Rashid Ashk an editor of the local paper known as Shu’la came from Katchery Bazar.
These persons had come from the Jami’ Masjid after saying their Friday prayers. The number of these processionists was approximately 200. I asked Maulvi Muhammad Abdullah Ahrari, Maulvi Saleh Muhammad and Abdur Rashid Ashk not to lead the procession as it was likely to create disaffection between different communities and cause a disturbance of the public peace but they paid no heed to my advice and insisted on loading and taking out a procession and asserted that that was the only way to protest against Sir Zafrullah Khan, mirzaeeat and the leader of the Ahmadis. In spite of my persuasion and advice these three persons asked their followers to shout ‘Sir Zafrullah murdabad’, ‘Mirza Bashir Ahmad murdabad’ and ‘Mirzaeeat murdabad’ and all their followers shouted these slogans vociferously and some of them jumped and clapped. This procession was swollen by more and more men as it advanced and after passing through Block No. 9 and Bansanwala Bazar it came back to the Katchery Bazar where it was met by another big procession which was equally strong in numbers and the whole procession then marched to the Municipal Gardens as advised by Maulvi Muhammad Abdullah Ahrari and Abdur Rashid Ashk. Abdur Rashid Ashk addressed the processionists at Gol Chowk and advised them not to disperse and go fearlessly through, their proposed route. The processionists shouted anti-Zafrullah Khan and anti-Mirzaeeat slogans with great noise and voice and at one time it seemed as if there was no law and order. All the shops were closed due to Friday and the Ahrar leaders had deliberately selected a free day for taking out their procession. The District Magistrate witnessed this procession when it reached the Chowk of the Katchery Bazar. The Ahrar procession started at about 1.30 p.m. and lasted till 2.30 p.m. When the procession reached the Municipal Gardens it assumed the shape of a public meeting and the audience was addressed by Maulvi Muhammad Abdullah Ahrari and Abdur Rashid Ashk, one after the other. The number of the audience at this time was not less than 500. Both the speakers thanked the audience for taking out a successful procession against Sir Zafrullah Khan, Mirza Bashir Ahmad and Mirzaeeat and again there was a chorus of the following slogans:
‘Sir Zafrullah murdabad’,
‘Mirza Bashir Ahmad murdabad’ and
The audience then started dispersing.
6. In addition to Maulvi Muhammad Abdullah Ahrari, Maulvi Saleh Muhammad and Abdur Rashid Ashk, the following were the most active members of the procession and marched in the van-guard of the procession and led anti-Zafrullah and anti-Mirzaeeat slogans:—
(1) Abdul Hamid s/o Muhammad Umar, Arain, of Block No. 11, Sargodha city.
(2) Bahaullah s/o Ata Ullah, Kashmiri, of Block NO. 19, Sargodha city.
(3) Allah Rahm s/o Allah Mahi, Changar, wood merchant, Block No. 17, Sargodha city.
(4) Majid s/o Allah Bakhsh, Gujrati, tailor, Block No. 3, Sargodha city.
(5) Yunus s/o Abdur Rahman, Arain, of Block No. 3, Sargodha city,
(6) Ahsan Ahmad, shopkeeper of Block No. 6, Sargodha city.
7. There is no doubt that Ahrar workers and leaders are out to sabotage the safety and peace of our State and miss no chance of creating disaffection against Ahmadis. Their outward object is to denounce Ahmadis, their khalifa and Sir Zafrullah Khan, but their inward object is to create disorder and lawlessness in our country. Ahrar leaders are occupying a good many mosques and are working as imams and khatibs. Their ringleaders usually keep behind the scene and incite others against Ahmadis in the name of their religion and in the name of our Prophet. Maulvi Muhammad Shafi Ahrari, who is a khatib of the Sargodha Jami’ Masjid, is one of their leaders. The likelihood is that some simple-minded Musalmans infuriated by their slogans and speeches may take to assaulting Ahmadis at Sargodha city or elsewhere in its vicinity where Ahmadis are living in small numbers and the result may possibly be the murder of some innocent Ahmadis. I have organised armed patrolling in the city today but it is not possible to protect all the Ahmadis and their houses.
8. It has also been brought to my notice by Sub-Inspector Sargodha city that local Ahrar leaders of Sargodha city, of whom Maulvi Muhammad Abdullah, Maulvi Saleh Muhammad and Abdur Rashid Ashk are the ringleaders, have decided to take out such processions frequently with the object of denouncing Ahmadiyyat, Sir Zafrullah Khan and the leader of Ahmadis and in this way impress upon the people that they are really bad persons and their religion is hateful. In order to put a stop to these processions and the prejudicial activities of these fellows it is essential that they should be very firmly dealt with as otherwise the public safety and the maintenance of public order will be gravely endangered and there will be law-lessness not only at Sargodha city but also in the whole of the district. As these persons may take some days before they take out another procession, I think it proper that I should take the Government’s orders before I take action against them. If in the meantime they take out another procession I shall take action straightaway without waiting for the Government’s Orders. The District Magistrate agrees with me that firm action should be taken against these men as that is the only way to put a stop to their prejudicial activities.
9. I propose to arrest Maulvi Muhammad Abdullah Ahrari, Maulvi Saleh Muhammad, Mu’allam of Siraj-ul-Uloom, and Abdur Rashid Ashk of Sargodha under section 3 of the Punjab Public Safety Act 1949, for 15 days if the Government approves of this action. It will of course be considered during these 15 days whether the Government should detain them for a further period or not. All these three persons are not men of much influence but are sufficiently mischievous and can make inciting speeches.
10. Against the following persons who took part in the procession in a very prominent and active way I propose to start proceedings under sections 107/151, Criminal Procedure Code, for keeping the peace. They are all enthusiastic followers of the above-mentioned 3 Ahrar leaders and are likely to disturb the public peace by assaulting or insulting Ahmadis:—
(1) Abdul Hamid s/o Muhammad Umar, Arain, of Block No, 11, Sargodha city.
(2) Bahaullah s/o Ata Ullah, Kashmiri, of Block No. 19, Sargodha city.
(3) Allah Rahm s/o Allah Mahl Changar, wood merchant, Block No. 17, Sargodha city.
(4) Majid son of Allah Bakhsh, Gujrati, tailor, Block No. 43 Sargodha city.
(5) Yunus son of Abdur Rahman, Arain, of Block No. 3, Sargodha city.
(6) Ahsan Ahmad, shopkeeper, of Block No, 6, Sargodha city.
11. It may be pointed out that processionists shouted ‘Muslim League zindabad’ while shouting other anti-Mirzaeeat slogans and it appears that they intentionally shouted ‘Muslim League zindabad’ in order not to alienate the sympathy of the local Muslim League workers. In their ‘Istehkam-i-Pakistan Ahrar Conference’ which the Ahrar held at Sargodha on the 24th and 25th of March, they invited Mian Muhammad Said Qureshi, President of the District Muslim League, to preside over another of its sittings. It is manifest that they purposely camouflaged all these arrangements. I understand that Ahrar are holding similar conferences all over the Province and taking out anti-Mirzaeeat and anti-Zafrullah Khan processions all over the Province and this seems to be a well-planned campaign, on their part and lawlessness is bound to follow this campaign of vilification of theirs unless it is nipped in the bud.
12. An Urdu stenographer of the Punjab C. I. D. recorded the proceedings of the Ahrar Conference held at Sargodha on. March 24 and 25 and he might have submitted his report by now to his officers.” On receiving this report, Mr Anwar Ali, D. I. G., C. I. D., recorded the following note:—
“I. G. might see this alarming report from Sargodha. The S. P. rang me up yesterday morning and I conveyed his report briefly to the I. G. 2. The conduct of the Ahrar is highly mischievous and was deliberately designed to gain cheap popularity at the cost of Ahmadi blood. To say that the Ahmadis are zindiqs and as such deserve death and that Muslims are not only expected to be namazies but also ghazies can have no other meaning except that the Ahmadis should be put to the sword.
3. The open defiance of the S. P.’s authority and the shouting of such slogans as ‘Zafrullah Khan murdabad’ is most unfortunate. S. P. proposes to take action against M. Muhammad Abdullah, M. Saleh Muhammad and Abdur Rashid Ashk under section 3 of the Punjab Public Safety Act and under section 107/151, Criminal Procedure Code, against another six persons. He has, however, asked for Government’s advice. Abdur Rashid Ashk was arrested once before under the Punjab Public Safety Act as he is an erstwhile Congressite and was suspected to be engaged in anti-Pakistan activities. M. Muhammad Abdullah is notoriously anti-Government.
4. I have advocated for sometime that firm action should be taken against the Ahrar particularly because of their sectarian activities. They have been seen making violent speeches against the Ahmadis. At Okara and at Quetta Ahmadis lost their lives as a result of violence preached by the Ahrar. If Pakistan is to develop as a democratic and progressive State, sectarian activities must be put down with firmness; otherwise Pakistan will become a medieval and reactionary State.
5. M. Muhammad Abdullah, Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari and Muhammad Ali Jullundri all have political records. As the office is shut I am not able to attach it. In view of the urgency of the case, I am sending it by hand to I. G. My view is that we must fully support the D. C. and the S. P. in the maintenance of law and order and should allow them to take action against M. Muhammad Abdullah and Abdur Rashid Ashk. For the time being M. Saleh Muhammad should be ignored. The S. P. may also take action under section 107/151, Criminal Procedure Code.
6. The Ahrar are holding another conference at Lyallpur tonight." Under instructions from Mr. Anwar Ali, D. I. G,, C. I. D., Mr. Ata Muhammad Noon, A. D. I. G., rang up S. P., Sargodha, on 1st April 1952 and informed him that he could take action under section 107/151, Criminal Procedure Code, if he considered such action necessary against any persons but that action under the Safety Act was not desirable. Mr. Noon also told the S. P. that if he wanted to discuss the matter further with the D. I. G., he could come to Lahore. The report of the S. P. was forwarded to P. I. under the orders of Mr. Anwar Ali, dated 2nd April 1952, for opinion whether any legal action in the matter could be taken. On the same day the P. I. reported that the speeches and slogans were actionable both under section 153-A and section. 295-A of the Penal Code.
On 1st April 1952, the Superintendent of Police, Sargodha, wrote to the Superintendent of Police (A), C. I. D., demi-official letter No. 1922-SSS, informing him that the proceedings of the conference held on 24th and 25th March 1952, were covered by a C. I. D. Urdu stenographer, that no procession had been taken out at the termination of the meetings of the conference though some individuals had raised anti-Ahmadi slogans such as ‘Mirzaeeat murdabad’, ‘Zafrullah Khan murdabad’, etc., when returning to their homes after the meeting, and that a procession was taken out by the Ahrar workers on 28th March after the Friday prayers, detailed report about which had already been sent to the D. I. G., C. I. D.
On 4th April 1952, which was a Friday, the Superintendent of Police sent the following memorandum to D. I. G., C.I.D., in continuation of his confidential memorandum of 28th March:—
“2. I called Maulvi Abdullah Ahrari, Maulvi Jalal-ur-Rahman, Khatib of the Gol Chowk Mosque, and Maulvi Sami Ullah, son of Maulvi Muhammad Shafi, Khatib of the Jami Masjid, Sargodha, to my office on the 2nd of April and had a long talk with them. I advised them not to take out any anti-Ahmadi procession in the city as they would neither improve their religion nor damage the Ahmadiya sect by shouting publicly anti-Ahmadiyyat or anti-Zafrullah or anti-Mirza Mahmud Ahmad slogans but would only disturb the public peace and bring a bad name to their country and their Government in the eyes of the other countries of the world.
“3. There was an apprehension that the Ahrar might again take out an anti-Ahmadi procession after the Friday prayers today and I made adequate police arrangements for patrolling in the city and also went to the city with enough armed police and patrolled the main bazars in police vehicles. Khan Abdul Hadi Khan, Additional District Magistrate, accompanied me as directed by the District Magistrate. The Ahrar took out no procession today.
“4. If the Ahrar workers and their supporters behave peacefully and take out no more anti-Ahmadi processions I shall postpone taking any action against them under the security sections or under any other law for the time being. I shall, however, continue to watch the situation.” It seems that the report of the Superintendent of Police, dated 28th March, 1952, relating to the proceedings of the conference had also been seen by the Chief Minister sometime before 3rd April when Mr. Anwar Ali recorded the following note on the file:—
“The speeches made at the Sargodha conference were recorded by a C. I. D. stenographer. They have been examined by the Prosecuting Branch. We are advised that they are not fit for forming the basis of a prosecution. They are, however, objectionable because they are designed to stir up hatred against the Ahmadis”. The only opinion of the Prosecuting Branch to be found on the file is the Prosecuting Inspector’s opinion of 2nd April 1952, and it is not at all clear how and when a contrary opinion was subsequently expressed by the Prosecuting Branch. However, Mr. Anwar Ali suggested that if Government approved, all District Magistrates in the Province would be advised to remain alert and to ban the Ahrar conferences if they apprehended trouble. On this the Home Secretary remarked that action on the D. I. G., C. I. D.’s proposal for banning the Ahrar conferences was being taken separately.
On 17th April 1952, Mr. Anwar Ali noted on the case that the Chief Minister was going to Sargodha, that on his return the Superintendent of Police should be asked to come to Lahore with all the relevant papers and that the matter would then be discussed and proposals made to Government.
On 6th May 1952, Malik Habibullah, Superintendent of Police (B), noted that the Superintendent of Police, Sargodha, had already seen D. I. G., C. I. D., and I. G., probably on 21st or 22nd April, and that the proposals had been discussed. As Mr. Lodhi’s note on the file, dated 24th April 1952, would show, no action in the case was taken because the Superintendent of Police, Sargodha, had stated in his memorandum, dated 4th April 1952, that since the Ahrar had behaved themselves, he had decided to postpone taking action against them.
Dr. Hafiz Masood Ahmad, Secretary, Anjuman-i-Ahmadiya, Sargodha, complained of the behaviour of the Ahrar at Sargodha by telegrams to the Provincial and Central Governments. Some telegrams to a similar effect were also sent by him to the press. In the telegram to the Minister for the Interior it was alleged that at the conference Muhammad Ali Jullundri, Ata Ullah Shah Bukhari and other speakers had preached lawlessness and instigated the masses to finish the Ahmadis by force and get rid of Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan within a week, that they had described Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan as an enemy of Pakistan, worse than Khizar Hayat Khan Tiwana, that pledges to finish the Ahmadis were taken from the audience, that after the speeches a midnight procession of excited men was taken through different parts of the city, shouting slogans against Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan, the head of the Ahmadiya community and Ahmadiyyat, that the lives and properties of Ahmadis were in danger and that grave consequences were apprehended. The Ministry of the Interior sent this telegram to the Chief Secretary to the Punjab Government by its letter No. 44/1/51-Poll. (1), dated the 31st March 1952, with the request that a report about the said conference may be sent to that Ministry at an early date. When this telegram came to the notice of Mr. Anwar Ali, D. I. G,, C. I. D., on 5th April 1952, he strongly resented the Centre’s interference with law and order which was an exclusively Provincial concern. He said:—
“There is a tendency on the part of the Ministry of the Interior to call for reports on all and sundry matters. This unnecessarily increases work. The Central Government is not in a position to pass any orders and, therefore, all the energy spent in preparing reports purely for the information of the Central Government is wasted.
* * * * *
In this case the proper course for the Central Government should have been to transfer the telegram to the Provincial Government for necessary action. In the matter of law and order the Provincial Government is supreme. If reports are called, it will unnecessarily encourage the public to go over the head of the Provincial Government and to call for the interference of the Centre.
* * * * *
As too many references have been made from the Centre of late it would perhaps be better to apprise C. S./H. C. M. with the situation and to obtain his orders”.
In reply to the inquiry by the Central Government, however, a copy of the S. P.’s memorandum No. 385-87/C, dated 28th March 1952, was sent to that Government. Hafiz Masood Ahmad, however, sent another telegram on 29th March 1952 to the Minister for the Interior saying:—
“As apprehended in our previous telegram after-effects of Ahrar conference appear. Processions of agitated mobs taken out again after Juma prayers. Highly provocative slogans shouted against the Ahmadis and their revered and most respected head of the community and the foreign Minister Pakistan. Creating hatred against the Ahmadis and the Government. Further trouble might arise. Effective check essential”. This telegram also was sent by the Central Government to the Chief Secretary to the Punjab Government for information and such action as might be considered necessary by the Provincial Government.
The proceedings of the Ahrar conference at Sargodha were published by the Shu’la of 28th March under the following captions:—
“Jab-tak Sir Zafrullah wazir-i-kharija hai Kashmir Pakistan ko nahin mil sakta. (Maulana Muhammad Ali Jullundri, bahawala taqrir Allah Rakha Saghir). “Zafrullah Pakistan ka wafadar nahin. Hukumat ki machinery ke purze Mirza Mahmud ki marzi ke mutabiq tabdil kiye jate hain. (Maulana Muhammad Ali). “Ham jan de-denge lekan nabi ‘alai-hi’s-salam ki nubuwwat par anch nahin ane den-ge. (Amir-i-Shari’at). “Alfaz ko qaim rakh kar uska mafhum badalne-wala zindiq hai aur zindiq Islam men wajibu’l-qatl hai. Har Mirzai hukumat ki duty ba’d men aur Mirza Mahmud ka hukm pehle manta hai. Hukumat ka har woh hukm jo Mirza Mahmud ki policy se takra-jai Mirzai mulazim us ki ta’mil nahin karta. (Maulana Muhammad Ali)”.
“So long as Sir Zafrullah is the foreign Minister, we cannot get Kashmir. (Maulana Muhammad Ali Jullundri, referring to the speech of Allah Rakha Saghir). Zafrullah is not loyal to Pakistan. Parts of the Government machinery are replaced in accordance with the wishes of Mirza Mahmud. (Maulana Muhammad Ali). We will give our lives, but will not let harm come to the prophethood of the Prophet, may peace be upon him. (Amir-i-Shari’at). He who keeps words, intact but misinterprets them is a heretic ; and a heretic in Islam deserves death. Every Mirzai complies with Mirza Mahmud’s orders first and then performs his duty to the Government. A Mirzai public servant does not obey any order of the Government that clashes with the policy of Mirza Mahmud. (Maulana Muhammad Ali)”. The report stated that at the conclusion of the conference, 10,000 young men paraded the city shouting slogans such as “Down with Sir Zafrullah”, “Down with Mirza Bashir Mahmud”, “Zafrullah resign”; that if Government failed to pay immediate attention towards these Dajjals, responsibility for such failure would devolve upon the Government; that Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan had officially circulated his programme when on his return from Paris he came to attend the conference at Rabwah; that at Rabwah he received Government officials; that he charged the expenses of his journey to Rabwah to the public Exchequer; that he was disloyal to Government; that he had made a bargain to give Kashmir to India in exchange for Qadian; that people would be justified to create a situation which would force this Dajjal son of Dajjal and his followers to run away from Pakistan; that Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud was Dajjal-i-Azam and the Musailima Kazzab of 14th century; and that only one hundred thousand Muslim girls were detained by Hindustan but that if the Mirzais succeeded in their object, four hundred thousand
girls will be dishonoured by them.
A deputation of some Ahmadis to represent against the proceedings of the conference and its report in the Shu’la waited on the Chief Secretary in the presence of the Home Secretary. The record of the proceedings that subsequently took place in this case is as follows:—
“A deputation of four Ahmadi gentlemen including Sh. Bashir Ahmad, Advocate, waited on the Chief Secretary today to voice their grievances in connection with the recent conference held at Sargodha by the Ahrar. I was present during the interview. Their complaint in short was that the trend of speeches delivered during the conference was highly objectionable and too vituperative and that one of the speakers had advocated the extermination of the Ahmadis by the Government on account of their being zindiqs. They also gave the attached two newspapers to C. S.
2. Will D. I. G., C. I. D., please put up for Government’s information the report which he must have received from his staff at Sargodha? He should also kindly obtain the text of the speeches if a verbatim record thereof was made at the spot so that they can be examined to ascertain whether they are objectionable or not.
3. I might mention in this connection that the D. M. Sargodha had telephoned to me on Friday, March 21st, to say that the Ahrar were proposing to take out a procession in the course of which they would be shouting anti-Ahmadi slogans. He wanted to know as to what was the policy that Government desire to be adopted regarding such matters. I told him that the policy of the Government regarding the Ahrar-Ahmadi controversy had already been communicated to all the D. Cs. which he should look up and that in the light of that policy he should exercise his discretion. So far no report has been received from the D. C.
S. GHIAS-UD-DIN AHMAD— 1-4-52” D. I. G., C. I. D. (U. O.),—No. 264-H-S., dated 2nd April 1962. I dealt with this case yesterday which has been linked to this case.
2. It is true that the speeches which were made were highly provocative and objectionable. The Mirzais were described as zindiqs and they were otherwise ridiculed and opposed. Even the Foreign Minister was not spared and shouts of ‘Sir Zafrullah murdabad’ were raised. Under H. C. M.’s instructions the S. P. has been advised to take action under section 107/151 Criminal Procedure Code. The H. C. M. is not in favour of taking action under the Punjab Public Safety Act which the S. P. had also recommended.
3. The speeches were recorded in shorthand and according to the P. I. they are not actionable.
4. The article in the Shu’la is very objectionable. It not only attacks the Ahmadis but also contains uncalled for criticisms of the authorities. The editor of this paper, Abdur Rashid Ashk, is known to the C. I. D. He is, like many other Ahrar, a Congressite, He was detained under the Punjab Public Safety Act in 1947 because he was associating with political workers of the Indian Dominion.
5. It is my opinion that if this country is to progress on healthy lines political charlatans and jingoes, who endeavour to gain popularity by hurling abuse at each other and who make no contribution for the political advancement of the country, should be dealt with unsparingly. The Ahrar have a feeling that the Muslim League is at their back: otherwise their past is black and they would not have dared to step into the political field. They were stooges of the Congress and some of them are still loyal to that body. Habib-ur-Rahman, who is a well known Ahrar, left this Province after the Partition and went over to India. In their heart of hearts some of them are still disloyal to Pakistan. They are working outwardly on a religious platform not in order to serve their country but in order to retrieve their lost prestige. There are signs already that a section of the Ahrar led by Sheikh Husam-ud-Din wants to come into active politics and its members are contemplating the formation of a new party.