Police registers FIR of Christian girl’s murder after sexual assault

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First Information Report of the murder of a 12-year-old, Pakistani Christian girl Taniya Marriam gets registered after much outcry from the from social media activists and Christian charity British Pakistan Christian Association (BPCA). Initially the police claimed the girl had committed suicide, and was not willing to accept the fact that the girl was sexually assaulted and murdered.

Gender based violence in Pakistan

Followed by the incident reported on January 23, Sambrial Police initially maintained the girl had committed suicide overlooking the evidences pointing towards poisoning and rape. Victim’s dead body was found from the Upper Canal. While the police showed customary reluctance in registering the FIR of the incident.

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Consequently, Christian charity British Pakistani Christian Association succored the victim’s family and helped with a solicitor. After much delay, police was convinced by the brother of the victim and the solicitor; thus a murder case invoking Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code was registered.

The first information report stated that Tania’s brother Johnson her at her school Convent of Jesus and Mary, in Sialkot Cantt area. Later the same day, he received a phone call from the police that dead body of his sister has been found and he was asked to come and identify the dead body. He was further informed that the girl had committed suicide, however the family of the victim were not willing to accept this statement.

On February 6, Tania’s family submitted a petition before the Magistrates court in Sialkot. Consequently, Judicial Magistrate Shagufta Sabir summoned Sumbrial police to produce before the court primary investigation and facts regarding the case. The court further stated that the lack of investigations in this case cast a shadow of doubt upon the role of police. The court further directed the Sambrial police to carry out investigations on the grounds of murder.

Father of victim, Nadeem Gill expressed serious doubts while speaking with the BPCA, he 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.”