Police registers FIR under murder charges in case 12 years old Christian girl
09 Feb 2017
Sialkot, Pakistan: February 9, 2017. (PCP) International pressure from social media activists who helped BPCA highlight the murder of a Christian girl of 12 who had been drugged, raped and murdered, has led to a police retreat from their original claim that Tania Mariyam had committed suicide.
Sambrial Police had initially closed the case stating that Tania had jumped into the Upper Chenab Canal on 23rd January 2016, despite evidence of poisoning and rape.
Tania's dead body was found in the canal two weeks ago and the family fought a fairly lonely campaign for justice till the BPCA intervened. The delay in registering the case means police may have let the killer escape justice, a common theme in a nation in which the rule of law is at its lowest ebb.
BPCA has been counselling and supporting the family and helped with a solicitor. Tania Mariyam’s brother Johnson Gill with the support of a solicitor convinced the Police to register a murder case under section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code. Now if caught the murderer could face death by hanging a punishment considered equal and fair under the Islamic law of Qisas.
According to the newly registered First Incident Report (FIR), Johnson had dropped his 12-year-old sister at her school 'Convent of Jesus and Mary School,' Sialkot, Cantt.
Later, he received a phone call that her dead body was found within Upper Chenab Canal (UCC) but despite police insistence of a suicide, Johnson and his other sister Sania refused to believe their confident sister Tania had committed suicide.
The grieving family has submitted a petition in Sialkot Magistrates court on 6th February 2016, seeking exhumation of Tania's grave to prove the poisoning took place and to search for any clue that could lead to the apprehension of the murderer.
Judicial magistrate Shagufta Sabir had summoned Sumbrial police to bring a complete record of their primary investigation to the court and expressed grave concerns at the failure to recognize clear evidence and a lack of quality to the police investigation. He ordered initiation of a murder investigation by Sumbrial Police.
Nadeem Gill spoke with the BPCA after the hearing said: "There was a disgusting police cover up and I fear that they have colluded with the murderer and know more then they are letting on. They do not care about Christians.
"They have had two weeks to investigate and remain unable to find out any clue to resolve the murder.
"My daughter could have been killed by a student or teacher at the school but the school is refusing to provide the footage from the CCTV cameras to me.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said: "In a rare case of international media support for a Pakistani Christian persecution case we have seen over 250,000 hits on our website from people shocked at Pakistan's brutality to minorities”