12/02/2011, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Faisalabad, 18 year old Christian woman killed during an attempted rape

by Shafique Khokhar
Amariah Masih was murdered, shot to death because she resisted her attacker. The author a 28 year old Muslim named Arif Gujjar, drug addict and son of a wealthy landowner. Police arrests the man and collaborates with the family. The solidarity of the Muslim community that seeks "reconciliation".
Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - 28 year old Muslim Arif Gujjar is under police custody for questioning for the murder of 18 year old Christian Amariah Masih shot to death Nov. 27. The girl was originally from the village of Tehsil Samundari, about 40 km from Faisalabad (Punjab), and was murdered because she resisted an attempted rape. Arif Gujjar is a "young drifter and drug addict," the son of a wealthy landowner in the area named Shafi Gujjar. The girl's father calls for justice, while the Muslim community gathers around the family overwhelmed by grief.

Razia Bibi, 50, mother of Amariah, tells AsiaNews that she and her daughter were on their way to the channel to collect drinking water, which is not available in the village. At first Arif Gujjar, in the company of a friend whose identity is still unknown, took possession the motorbike on which they were travelling, then grabbed the girl and, under the threat of a gun, trying to drag her away. The young Christian resisted, trying to escape the clutches of her attacker. The man opened fire and killed her instantly, and later tried to conceal the corpse.

The body was found by her father, Mansha Masih, 53, a father of five daughters and two sons. He denounced the suspect, who was near the area where he had tried to hides the corpse and erase the traces of the murder. The police was immediately put on the trail of Arif, stopping him shortly after. The girl's father thanked the police, who "have worked hard" to arrest the culprit.

At the end of the 18 year old Christian’s funeral, added her father (pictured), a Muslim delegation met with the family, to express solidarity and bring harmony and peace within the community. Mansha Masih, however, urged that justice is done and ensures that he "will fight to get it" because "they are the victim of a cruel act." Her funeral was celebrated by Father Zafal Iqbal, a native of Khushpur, who explains to AsiaNews: "wealthy and influential landowners often take aim at those who are marginalized and vulnerable, for their dirty interests."

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