Punjab: Christian maid burned alive to prevent her from reporting a rape
Lahore (AsiaNews) - A Christian girl was raped and burnt alive by the son of a Muslim master, for whom she worked as a maid. The girl died in hospital yesterday after two days of agony, for the burns on 80% of her body. The incident occurred in a small town in Punjab and has similar details to the sad story of Shazia Bashir, the 12 year old Christian raped and murdered by a powerful lawyer in Lahore, a crime still for which he is still unpunished.
Kiran George worked for a Muslim family in Sheikhupura, a Punjab town. The girl died yesterday at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore, where she was hospitalized on 9 March in critical condition. To unleash the murderous madness of the son of the employer the threat of a complaint of sexual assault.
Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church of Pakistan (NCJP), told AsiaNews that "the house of a Christian family was set on fire" as revenge because "a young man is accused of killing a Muslim." The Catholic activist explains that the suspect, Yasir Abid, is "subject to pre-trial detention. The victim is the son of a Muslim landowner in the village of Kirtu Pandora, in the Narang Mandi”.
Mohammad Raza Ahmda raped the Christian girl who, at first, confided only with her friends for fear of losing her jobs. Her family’s conditions of extreme poverty had led the young girl to remain silent. When Kiran George threatened her tormentor of telling her story to the police, the young man blocked her escape and closing the door, he poured gasoline all over her with the help of his sister, setting her on fire.
The Muslim master, instead of bringing the girl to the hospital, called her parents telling them that her clothes caught fire while cleaning the kitchen. Kiran George was subjected to two days of slow agony, however, before dying, she told the whole story to the police who opened an investigation file on the young man.
Also in Punjab a crowd of Muslims robbed and burned the house of a Christian family. The assault happened on 10 March in Narang Mandi, a town in the district of Sheikhupura. The extremist’s anger was triggered by the alleged involvement of a Christian in the killing of the son of a local landowner. The mob also burnt some copies of the Bible.
Christian families denounced the "deliberate burning" of some copies of the Bible kept inside the home. Police started to investigate and evaluate whether to open a file of investigation for the crime of blasphemy. In this case, says Peter Jacob, the judiciary "will not act under section 295-B of the Pakistan Penal Code, which provides for punishment up to life imprisonment for those who desecrate the Koran, but does not provide for the holy books of other religions”.
"We are against the blasphemy laws - concludes activist NCJP - and this applies regardless of the sacred text or who is guilty of the crime." However, he hopes for "thorough investigations" and the punishment of those who "burned the house of the Christian family."