A 14-year-old girl has been abducted on the pretext of a job. Her father was persuaded to withdraw a complaint against her abductors, but instead of getting his daughter, he was killed in cold blood on his way to rescue her. His wife and three daughters now live in fear of reprisals, and ask for help from God's people.
Faisalabad (AsiaNews) – Two months ago, a group of Muslims abducted a 14-year-old Christian girl in Faisalabad, and later killed her father in cold blood when he tried to bring her home.
Since then, the kidnapped girl’s mother and three sisters live in fear and indigence. They cannot leave home, go to work, or attend to chores for fear of retaliation from the Muslims against whom the girl’s father had filed charges before being killed.
Najma Bibi, the girl’s mother, told AsiaNews that "several months after my daughter's kidnapping, the police have not done anything because we have no money to defend our rights. We live in a hopeless situation, we need help. I pray that my daughter will continue to place hope and faith in Jesus Christ."
The murder victim is Tanveer Masih, 42, Najma Bibi’s husband and Mehwish’s father. He and his family lived in Khalid Colony slum. He worked as a rickshaw driver. Whilst his eldest daughter looked after the house and the younger sisters, his mother and Mehwish served as domestic workers in private homes.
Mehwish went to school until eighth grade, but then had to abandon her studies for lack of money and to help the family. On 12 March, a Muslim family visited the Masih-Bibi house to ask if they could hire Mekwish’s services for a party that evening. They said they would bring her back at the end of the celebrations.
However, she never made it home, and has been missing ever since. Tanveer, desperate, went several times to the Muslim family that had hired his daughter, asking them to release her. Every time he was prevented from seeing her, given some explanation like she was out on some errands.
He also tried reconciliation through the village council, without success. After several failed attempts, Tanveer went to Raza Abad police station on 10 May and filed a complaint of abduction against Umar Daraz, Muhammad Zahid and Mobeen Rehman.
Immediately, Tanveer began receiving threatening phone calls, telling him to withdraw the complaint. But he refused to be intimidated and made a supplementary statement before the police.
At that point, two of the accused went to Tanveer’s house and told that they could settle the matter out of court if he withdrew all charges.
When he agreed to do so in order ensure his daughter’s safety, he went to a prearranged meeting, but instead of his daughter, he met two gunmen on a motorcycle who shot him to death on Jhang Road, in Thikriwala.
Local police filed a murder case, but did not arrest anyone. For this reason, Najma Bibi and the other three daughters live holed up in their home in fear that the accused of the two crimes – murder and kidnapping – might want to kill them too.
In the past few months they have survived thanks to the support of relatives, who bring them bread and butter.
"I want my daughter back,” Tanveer’s widow said. “I want the perpetrators brought to justice. I have no money to buy food or continue the legal battle. I ask help from God's people."