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Image of Mother and siblings of abducted teenager Maria
A Christian family have reported that their 14-year-old daughter Maria was abducted at gun point by their neighbours son and some accomplices. During the abduction they also robbed the family of 13thousand rupees (£102) and gold jewellry worth 50,0000 rupees (£400).
The incident occurred at the home of Maria at 3am on15th April in Gaggo Mandi, a town in Vehari District in the Punjab.
Home of Maria that was scaled by robbers and kidnappers.
The family were awoken by crashing and banging as three men scaled their wall and entered their property. The robbers including one neighbour named Amjad who they recognized and who is known to be besotted by Maria, the men started waving guns at the family. Other men could be heard outside the property shouting and the family believe another three men at least were involved in the crime.
Image of Maria
Maria's mother Bushra Bibi, Maria and her younger siblings Tahmur (13 yrs), Hanook (12 yrs) and Kiran (11 yrs), were all told to kneel on their knees and stay still as the robbers rifled through their property taking money and jewellry kept in a drawer. Just before they left the men asked Maria to get up and go with them despite the protestations of Bushra. The family were told that they would not see Maria again and were warned not to tell the police of the kidnap or they would be killed.
Men outside the home could be heard shouting "have you got the girl yet?" It is for this reason the family believe that Maria's kidnap was the primary reason for the raid.
Despite pleas from the family for recovery of their vulnerable daughter, local police initially refused to register an First Incident report of the alleged crime. Fortunately with the arrival of our Lahore-based officer pressure was able to be applied and an FIR has now been registered. However Police are being very slow with investigation of the alleged kidnap.
Bushra Bibi, mother of Maria, said:
"Every day I am without my daughter I feel like dying. These men will do terrible things with Maria, she is so alone and vulnerable.
"I asked the men to take me and leave my children but they stole my eldest child from me.
"The police first refused to register a crime now they are doing little to retrieve my daughter. I just want her back safe and sound I fear I will be like many other mothers who never see their daughter again. The tho ught of this is filling me with despair.
"I have been praying for a miracle and plead with other Christians to pray for Mara."
Maria worked as a cleaner at various houses including Amjad's who was the alleged ringleader in the kidnap and it is believed that whilst cleaning at the Amjad's house. Her father passed away 6 years ago due to a heart attack and since then mother Bushra Bibi (46 years) has brought up her children alone and single handedly looked after the home.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
"Until we got involved police were refusing to register a First Incident Report, this deplorable insouciance towards kidnap, rape and forced marriage of vulnerable Christian girls, is based on an Islamic bias within police authorities.
"The regular failure by police to react to such cases has created an impunity which leads to bold acts of violence towards Christians and other minorities.
"We are in touch with the Government of Pakistan through the High Commission and have alerted them to this incident. I am sure that a more concerted response will be enacted by the Police and we have been assured of this."
The family have asked as to provide a lawyer to support them through the process of ensuring police conduct their investigations properly and any ensuing legal battle. The cost of a lawyer will be in the region of £600 and we have set up an appeal that you can contribute to by clicking (here)
Please sign our petition for better protection of Christians girls who are being kidnapped, raped and forced into Islamic marriage at the rate of 700 per year (click here).