Our notes from the testimony of eye-witnesses
1—Ahmadis planned this attack.
2—Ahmadis boarded the train and attacked defense-less teenagers with weapons.
3—A few Ahmadis were carrying revolvers.
4—This was a terrorist attack ordered by the Khalifa
The story from the Pakistan Times
“””””””Mr. Arbab Alam, Final year student of the Nishter Medical College, Multan and President of the Students Union of his college, who was injured during the disturbances at Rabwah Railway Station on May 29, stated on Thursday that two of the assailants had revolvers with them.
He was recording his evidence before the Tribunal comprising Mr. Justice K.M.A Samdani, inquiring into the Rabwah incident.
The witness stated that in order to force open a door of a smaller compartment where the students of NMC (Nishter Medical College) had taken refuge, one of the men armed had threatened to fire. At this stage another man entered the compartment and tapped the shoulder of the man holding the revolver and told him that the time to use weapon had not yet come.
He stated some of the people who had launched the attack on NMC students were armed with hockey sticks, chains, small hammers and whips. One of them was carrying a sword, he added.
Narrating the incident, Mr. Arbab Alam stated that as soon as the trained stopped, they started hitting the students who were sitting on seats on the platform side of windows with their respective weapons. They hit the windows of the compartment with small hammers, the witness added.
“I told the students not to get perturbed and directed them to draw the shutters and close the doors of the compartment. But they could not go close to the windows because of the attack. However, they managed to draw the shutters with much difficulty. But one of the windows got stuck and could not be closed. Meanwhile the crowd started pelting stones through the half-closed window, the Mob also tried to use lathis (a large bamboo stick) and small hammers through the window. The students however managed to check the attack by obstructing the half-closed window with holdalls”
In the meantime, Mr. Arbab Alam stated the mob broke open one of the doors and entered the bogie upon which the witness directed other students to move to the rear towards the small compartment of the bogie and close it from the inside. Hardly the students had moved to the rear, a group of 15 to 20 persons entered the compartment and two of them began throwing out students’ luggage on the platform and yard side as well.
The witness who was in the middle of the compartment enquired of the intruders if someone among the students had misbehaved with them and “I assured them that if anyone had, I would call for his explanation” he stated.
“”Meanwhile, two or three of them began pulling a sick student who was lying on an upper berth. As the sick student resisted they could not pull him down from the berth. Having failed to do so, they attacked him with small hammers. He, however, fell off and later managed to run away to the rear compartment. Later when they addressed me, enquiring as to who was the group in-charge of the students, I told them that it was I. Meanwhile one of them hit me with a tea-mug, which they had picked up from our compartment. As my head reeled with the blow, obliging me to seek support against a side-window, someone hit me from behind with something I became semi-unconscious and fell down. However, shortly afterwards, I regained my senses. But I continued to lie on the aisle and I could hear the noise.”””
As Mr. Arbab lay there, he noticed that intruders were trying to push the smaller compartment of the bogie.
In the meantime, he stated, Mr. Amin, another student of his college and who happened to be Nazim of Islami Jamiat-i-Tulaba, entered his compartment. “I saw him bleeding from his head, and his clothes were stained with blood” he stated. The witness told Mr. Amin that as he was unable top move he should lie on a lower berth. Some time later some railway men visited them in the compartment and assured them that the assailants had gone, he deposed.
The witness stated that he had heard slogans of “Mirzaiiat-zindabad”, Mohammadiyat murdabad”. “Mirza Ghulam Ahmad ki jai” and “Nishtat ke Musle hai hai”. In addition to hearing the slogans, while lying on the aisle of the compartment, he overheard people talking that the bogie should be disconnected from the train. Some said that it should be set on fire, while some others suggested that they should take us (NMC students) away and wait for some one to come and take them.
Earlier, the witness stated six men boarded the students’ bogie at Sarghoda. When the NMC students objected to their presence in their bogie, they got off the train at the next station –Shaheenabad. It were these 6 men, he said, whom he saw calling the crowd at the Rabwah railway station with the help of their hands while standing in the doorway of the last bogies of the train.
Following the attack, Mr. Arbab stated, 13 NMC students including himself were admitted to Nishtar Hospital, Multan. “I was discharged from the hospital on June 11th, he stated.
Earlier, he added, the injured students had objected to the rendering of first aid to them at Lyallpur railway station by Mr. Abdul Wali, stated to be a Mirzai.
Mr. Ejaz Hussain Batalvi, counsel for the Ahmadiyya community, asked Mr. Arbab Alam a number of questions pertaining to internal politics of Nishtar Medical College to contend that students of the institution were divided into 2 hostile groups and this hostility had some bearing on the Rabwah incident.
Cross-examined, the witness stated that he had not stepped out of his compartment at Rabwah on May 29, in reply to another question, he stated: “I do not know whether or not the luggage of students was thrown out of the train and was later collected, nor did I enquire about it from students.”
Narrating the incident that occurred on May 22 while the NMC students were travelling in the Peshawar-bound Chenab Express, indicated that the incident was a sequel to the exception taken by students to the distribution of the daily Al-Fazl among them and preaching by an Ahmadi at the Rabwah railway station.
The incident had resulted in the raising of slogans by the students which were “Narraa-i-Takbir” “allah-o-akbar” “Islam-zindabad” “Khatme Nabuwwat zindabad” “Mirzaiyat murdabad”and “Mirzai thah”, he stated.
Earlier, Mr. Bashir Ahmad of Sarghoda who was travelling on the Chenab Express on May 29 from Sarghoda on his way to Quetta, stated that a boy in his compartment had pulled the chain when the train steamed into the Rabwah station. As soon as the train stopped, he said, a group of 15-16 young men entered his compartment. They caught hold of one of the students there and began belaboring him. After beating one, they pounced upon another but did not beat him severely. The student who the intruders had earlier beaten up later took refuge under one of the seats of the compartment to save his life from the subsequent assaults, he said. The attacked student has also sought his protection, he added.
Later, he said a group of 10 persons entered the compartment, looking for students, but when we told them the men there was none, they left, he said. The intruders, he said were armed with sticks, one of them was carrying a whip and the rest of them were empty handed, the witness stated that he had seen various groups of persons entering different compartments. However, I cannot say what they did in the compartments, he added.
Cross-examined by Mr. Ejaz Hussain Batalvi, the witness stated “we had not intervened to rescue the students because we were afraid that we might be beaten up.” In reply to a question, he said while beating up those boys, the assailants were saying, “Come along we will give you the hooris”
Ch. Rafique Ahmad Bajwa, one of the counsel appearing in the inquiry, prayed the tribunal to summon confidential reports submitted by the Deputy Commissioner, Jhang, to the Home secretary from December 1873 to May 1974.
As the inquiry was in progress, a man from Jhang, stated to be a lawyer, appeared before the tribunal and sought permission to file documents pertaining to land bought by the Ahmadia community in Rabwah. He submitted the Ahmadis had bought the land for Rs. 250 per square. He indicated that Ahmadis had been violating the agreement under which the land was transferred to them.
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