Ahmadiyah followers evicted again

West Lombok, Indonesia - Against Ahmadiyah members: Several people meet village officials in Gegerung village, Gerung regency in West Nusa Tenggara on Friday. The villagers objected the presence of Ahmadiyah followers, who just returned to Gegerung village after staying for a long time in shelters at Wisma Transito. They asked the officials to evict all Ahmadiyah members from the village.Antara/Ahmad Subaidi Members of the Ahmadiyah sect, who returned to their homes in West Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, a few months ago after being evicted, were evicted once again on Friday following pressure from local villagers.

Dozens of Gegerung villagers converged at the village office on Friday and urged the village chief to immediately evict the Ahmadiyah members from Ketapang hamlet.

They voiced objection to the presence of the Ahmadiyah members to the Gegerung village chief, the Lingsar district head and police chief.

During the meeting held at the Gegerung village office, located around 3 kilometers from Ketapang hamlet, a number of Ahmadiyah followers began leaving their homes, especially women and children.

Most of the men stayed until noon on the grounds that they were protecting their belongings.

The Ahmadiyah members, made up of 12 families, or 45 people, eventually agreed to leave their homes before Friday prayers after officials from the village administrative office and police assured the safety of their belongings.

They took with them household utensils that they could carry on motorcycles and returned to the displaced persons shelter at Wisma Transito in Mataram.

Gegerung village chief Sahudin told reporters the Ahmadiyah members returned to Ketapang six months ago, but they did not report their presence to the village administrative office.

The local villagers deemed the returning Ahmadiyah members a disturbance.

“The residents are resolute and rejected their return. We have coordinated on the issue with the regent.

For the time being, we ask the Ahmadiyah members to return to their shelter at Wisma Transito and vacate their homes in Ketapang so as to avoid undesirable incidents,” said Sahudin.

He added that after the meeting with residents, he and the Lingsar Police chief immediately reported the residents’ demand to West Lombok Regent Zaini Arony.

“We have reported the matter to the regent, and next Friday he will conduct Friday prayers in Ketapang and provide guidance to residents. There’s no decision whatsoever now, but we have asked the Ahmadiyah members to leave Ketapang to prevent untoward matters from happening,” he said.

The 45 Ahmadiyah members in Ketapang are part of the 36 families, or 127 Ahmadiyah members, staying at Wisma Transito.

The Ahmadiyah members, who were initially evicted from their village in February 2006, were forced to return to their homes in Ketapang because they had been staying at the Wisma Transito shelter without any certainty about their fate.

“We are willing to leave if asked, but please pay attention to our problem. We also want to lead a normal life like other people,” said Ahmadiyah member in Ketapang, Sarim Ahmad, 45.

Sarim and the other families returned to Ketapang three months ago. They returned to till their land and rear chickens because they have not received social assistance at the Wisma Transito shelter for the past two years.

He urged authorities to assure the safety of their belongings they left behind in Ketapang, because they had often lost chickens.