LAHORE, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife/APMA) -- A 12 years old Christian girl, Shaheena Masih was kidnapped and gang raped by four Muslim men on Easter day at Lahore in the Province of Punjab.
On 8 April 2007, Easter day, Shaheena family members went to a local Church to attend Easter prayers but Shaheena Bibi and her old ailing father remained at home. At 10:00 Oâ€™clock her father Piara Masih asked Shaheena to get him a pack of juice from near by shop as he was not feeling well. Shaheena on her way to shop was kidnapped by four armed men, who stopped her and placed a handkerchief on her mouth to make her unconsciousness and flung her in to a white color car. When Shaheena regained her senses she found her self in a factory where four men were present in the room. These four men raped her and locked her in a room. Mean while, Shaheena found a mobile phone lying in the room through which she contacted her brother Munir Masih and informed him of her abduction but while she was talking to her brother, the culprits came inside the room and snatched the mobile, switched it off, she was beaten badly and warned of dire consequences.
Shaheena was repeatedly gang raped by these men. Mohammad Naseer, One of the culprit who is the owner of the factory that produces plastic material said to other culprits, "donâ€™t hesitate to rape a Christian girl, even she will die no one will get us, her poor parents can not pursue us".
On receiving the call from Shaheena her family became worried and started searching for her. Munir Masih, brother of Shaheena who received telephone call on his mobile, accompanied by neighbors, went to mobile company to trace the address of phone owner from where she made the call. The mobile company provided information and address of the owner of the phone number to whom it was issued, whose name was Mohammad Safdar. Mr. Munir along with his father and relatives went to Nishtar colony Police Station and narrated the whole event and asked for their help to recover Shaheena.
Police of Nishtar colony headed by SHO Tariq Pervez along with family of Shaheena Masih accompanying them, raided the plastic factory and arrested Mohammad Safdar. When police asked him about Shaheena, he completely denied but after getting a warning from police, he admitted the crime and shared the where about of Shaheena to whom they left in a brothel run by a lady Nazia and cooperated with police to get her back. He contacted the lady Nazia running that brothel business. On 10 April 2007, Nazia dropped Shaheena in the street near her house at night, bleeding profusely and in pathetic condition.
Police arrested four men but three were released later, only Mohammad Safdar was kept in lock up. On 11 April 2007, Shaheena was taken for medical check up in the General Hospital Lahore but the police refused to hand over medical report to victimsâ€™ family.
On 13 April 2007, Nishtar Colony Police registered a case against the perpetrators under article 496-A/376 but due to the influence of Culprits, Police while registering the case did not include the required sections of crime in the FIR. As a result though Police arrested Mohammad Safdar but other culprits including the owner of factory are still at large who gang raped Shaheena.
The culprits through their influence are pressurizing the local police to hash up the case and threatened the victim family not to pursue the case.
Meanwhile, Shaheena family contacted APMA office and asked for help, to get justice. APMA team immediately visited the victim family and assured of its solidarity and support.
On 18 April 2007, seeing Shaheena deplorable condition and lack of medical treatment, APMA took Shaheena to Service Hospital Lahore for medical treatment and Check up.
On 19th April, a delegation of APMA along with victim family met with Malik Iqbal, Chief city police officer (CCPO) to seek his intervention to arrest the culprits and provide justice to Shaheena. Mr. Malik Iqbal assured the victim family of his cooperation and asked APMA to meet Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) of the area to whom he nominated as an investigation officer in this case. APMA delegation also met DSP who then called Shaheena to record her statement.
Shaheena has four brothers and four sisters, she is the youngest one. Her mother died few years ago and her father Piara Masih, who is now 70 years old.
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