A young Christian girl Saba Ijaz, aged 15, who work as domestic worker and serve at several Muslim houses has been accused for stealing money by a Muslim Mohammad Mushtaq Baigh and Mohammad Ijaz Baig where she worked for last two years.
On Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Nazia Bibi age 40 and Ijaz Masih aged 42 resident of Salahudin Road Christian Park, Mohallah Mustafa Park Mehmood Booti Lahore (about 25 kilo meters from the main city) approached Christians’ True Spirit – CTS and narrated the incident.
Mohammad Ijaz Baig s/o Mohammad Mustaq Baigh, 30 year-old blamed Saba for robbing the prize bonds with the worth of 80,000PKR (eighty thousand rupees) from the house. A day before the Eid-Ul- Adha (a festival that many Muslims celebrate with special prayers and sacrifices of animals) Mohammad Mushtaq Baigh and Ijaz Baigh confined Saba in a room and pressurized her to admit the crime (theft). Saba was severely beaten and threatened for dire consequences, the mother said. Saba was banned to go home and been tortured physically and mentally for several hours.
In the evening at about 6:00 pm when Saba did not return Nazia Bibi (the mother) was concerned for daughter, she went to her work place and inquired about her. The Muslim family denied to give any information about Saba and said that she was not on work that day. Nazia Bibi was astonished as she herself brings her daughter to the work place in routine, got worried seriously, meanwhile she heard the cries of Saba, calling her mother and telling her that she was inside the locked room.
Nazia Bibi cried for her daughter that why she been beaten severely. Mohammad Mushtaq Baigh threatened the mother too and did not allow her to take the girl home. They warned Saba that if she will not admit the theft they will file a complaint in the
police station and she will be sent to the Jail for years. The poor mother requested Mohammad Mushtaq Baigh to release her daughter but he was only agreeing to leave Saba if she admits crime. The unsightly attitude and unkind behavior of Muslim family especially Mohammad Mushtaq Baigh and Mohammad Ijaz Baigh; Saba’s mother was scared and she requested Mushtaq Baigh that if he clearly know that Saba is thief, then they will manage the money to return. Mushtaq Baigh asked Saba and her mother for the money Rs. 80,000 rupees (US$800) and required the National Identity Cards copies of Saba’s parents and relatives as a guaranty that they will return the money.
It was pity that the parents of Saba requested area people (Muslim and Christians) to talk to Mohammad Mushtaq about the innocence of Saba and make him realized that the poor parents were not in position to pay a heavy amount of Rs.80,000 rupees. But the Muslim neighbors pressurized them even more and said that they should return money otherwise they will face severe.
Soon after the incident Nazia and Ijaz (Saba’s parents) received call notice by the local Police Station Shalimar Lahore for inquiry on the complaint of Mohammad Mustaq Baigh. During the investigation the officer asked Saba that if she committed offence. Saba refused to admit crime in her statement as she said that she never steals anything in two years work. Saba also said that she does not know what the prize bond is and she never saw them in life.
Investigation officer pressurized the poor family to return Rs.50,000 rupees to Mohammad Mushtaq Baigh and suggested them to settle the matter outside the police station otherwise there would be a Theft case registered against Saba.
Saba’s parents facing social pressure and severe life threats for involving them in a court case, therefore they were committed to pay Rs.50,000 rupees on October 18, 2016 but they could not manage the money till the date.
After learning the complete details; the same day on October 19, 2016 CTS team comprising on Ms. Katherine Sapna (Director), Dr. Salamat Gill (Coordinator) and Barbara Francis (volunteer) visited the young girl Saba aged 15 and Rozi aged 18 at their relatives place. Mohammad Mushtaq warned the parents of Saba that he will take her in the custody and kept her at unknown place and they will never know. Therefore Nazia Bibi and Ijaz Masih took his both girls to his relatives place for safety.
Statement of Saba Ijaz:
Talking to CTS team Saba informed that she is an illiterate, whose father is sick for last 3 years with a serious disease and unable to earn money to manage household. Saba and his elder sister Rozi Ijaz age 18 uses to work as domestic workers along with their mother Nazia Bibi since 5 years.
She is working at Mohammad Mushtaq Baigh’s house for two years and serves the family including his son Mohammad Ijaz Baigh about 30 years old. Ijaz Baigh does not work and mostly stays at home, stares her and pass the compliments during her work, said Saba. According to the information by Saba, since last two months Mohammad Ijaz Baig insisted her to build illicit relations. She refused him again and again and asked him strictly for complain to his family especially to his father Mushtaq Baig. Mohammad Ijaz Baig warned her for severe consequences if she disclosed his wishes and extra involvement towards her. Saba does not feel easy to work in this situation and just a week earlier the incident she informed the sister in-law of Ijaz Baig to arrange another worker as she want to stop. She is innocent in this case and just blamed because ijaz Baig wants me at the work, Saba Said.
Meeting with Rev. Saleem Manasseh:
CTS team visited the local Pastor Rev. Saleem Manasseh from the Greater Grace Church of Pakistan, Christians Park Mehmood Booti Lahore and asked if he can make some influence in the case of Saba as an area priest. The Pastor assured the team for every kind of possible support but regarding the case of Saba he is helpless. He informed that Saba’s Parents were extremely pressurized by the Muslims including Mohammad Mushtaq Baig, therefore they have admitted the return of Money. Ijaz Masih and Nazia Bibi have signed the stamp paper with their thumb impressions and also
submitted the copies of their CNIC cards and also committed the return of money in the police station too, and now they have to pay the required amount in any cost, said Pastor Saleem.
Visit to the Shalimar Police Station:
The complaint against Saba for robbing the prize bond is registered in the local police station Salimar Lahore. CTS team visited the Mr. Imtiaz Ahmad Investigation In-charge and Mohammad Liaquat Sub-Inspector in the Shalimar Police Station. It was very complicated to know the situation of the legal case after taking to the officials. Mr. Liaquat informed the team that the girl is underage and police can never register a case FIR against the minor. While Mr. Ahmad gave the totally different statement and said as they have admitted to return the money back they would have to pay and it shows clearly that the girl is thief. After learning the case, Ms. Katherine Sapna, Director CTS, asked the Investigation Officer to re-investigate the matter, as the girl is completely innocent and the poor parents will not pay a single penny. She also said that CTS believes the cooperation of Police otherwise we will knock the every door for justice.
A few pictures from the visit of the house of victim Family:
Presently, Saba and her sister Rozy along with their parents are in CTS shelter and we hope to deal with this matter in the police station, otherwise we will file harassment petition in the Session Court Lahore through the CTS legal counsel.
October 20, 2016