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Two weeks too late.. Pakistani police finally register murder case for slain 12 year old Christian girl

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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. Read original story (click here)

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 have 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. 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.

"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.

"Please, Please Shabaz Sharif [Punjab Chief Minister] help me find the murderer of my daughter!"

Although a Christian owned school the majority of the students at the school are Muslim as they are more able to pay the high costs for schooling at the establishment. A large percentage of the teachers are also Muslim and bot teachers and children in the school have regularly complained about harassment and bullying from respective colleagues.

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.

"This support including 24,000 shares by concerned Christians has led to the opening of a murder case I am sure, a turnaround like this should not be possible.  

"I am worried that the severe delays will mean that much of the evidence has been lost, especially with regards to the toxins in the decaying corpse of Tania.  

"Even then we have agreed to pay for the exhumation of Tania's body and an autopsy.  A decision on whether Tania's body can be dug up will be made on the 10th of February and we call on people to pray and petition for permission."

A BPCA petition calling for justice for Tania was removed from Petitionbuzz's portal despite already having 2000 signatures. They have not advised us of why it had been removed but we believe it was due to us adding text from a news story in Dawn newspapers, in which they reported on an estimated 700 Christian girls being kidnapped, raped and forced into Islamic marriage (click here).

BPCA is accepting donations to raise money to help pay for the exhumation and autopsy of Tania's corpse and ongoing legal costs.  If you would like to help please (click here).


To continue to add pressure to the Pakistani government, judiciary, police authorities and other statutory agencies involved in the case of Tania, we urge people to continue to sign our new petition for Tania and to resign this one if your signature on the original petition is no longer there on inspection. Please (click here)

BPCA is so demoralized by the loss of our original petition for Tania that we have begin the work required to create our own petition platform for Christian groups.  The petition portal will still have some censoring but this will be done through a more prayerful consideration.  The new site will be operational from next week and will be available from this url: http://www.petition4changes.org/

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