Maria Bibi Abducted by Muslims and forced to Marry
Maria Bibi d/o Ashraf Masih aged 14, abducted by four Muslims including Amjad and his fellows on April 20, 2017 and sexually abused at unknown location for four days and nights by a group of 4 men. Maria lived along with her grandfather, mother Bushra Bibi and three siblings Taimoor (10), Hanooq (8) and Kiran (5) at the village 247 / E. B. Tehsil Burewala, District Vehari in Punjab Province whereas her father Ashraf Masih died years back. This is the only Christian family lived among the Muslim masses more than forty years. Maria’s grandfather taking care and bearing the expenses of the all basic needs of the family by doing a job as watchman and as herald in the locality, the earning is not sufficient so far.
CTS team learnt about the happening and left for Burewala on Saturday, May 06, 2017 to collect the facts. The team comprising on Salamat Gill, Asifa Sadaf and two friends Mr. Tariq Siraj advocate High Court and Mr. Riaz Assi who facilitated the team in meeting the family of Maria at their home in the village 247 / E. B. Tehsil Burewala.
Maria’s mother informed CTS team that Maria was engaged with Maqsood Masih on of her cousins, who works in Sialkot and earn good. She further reported that on April 20, 2017 she was not at home whereas Maria’s grandfather also was out from the house due to his work and her younger brothers were out to play. Maria was alone and busy in her domestic activities, meanwhile a local Muslim named Amjad along with and three others Muslims entered the house, kidnapped Maria at gun point and took her to an unknown place where they kept her in illegal detention and abused her sexually. Maria’s family was worried for her and they were trying hard to find her out. After about three days they came to know through some sources that Maria was in the custody of Amjad and three others, she added. Maria’s grandfather called a punchayat (local and private court in the village) and requested landlords to help this poor family for the recovery of their daughter. The Muslims admitted the girl was with them but they did not returned the girl to the parents. After about a week the Muslims presented marriage Certificate and conversion certificate in the Punchayat and said that the girl was not willing to see her parents.
Maria’s family went to the police station and lodged a case FIR no. 255 / 17 against Amjid and his fellows offence under section 365/b PPC Police Gaggo Mandi and forwarded the case to court where the opponent party/ Muslims presented the wedding papers and conversion certificate and showed Maria a wedded wife of Amjad.
Because of the family pressure and on April 26 Maria was brought to the Vahari District Courts by the Muslims to record statement against her parents. She was so scared and pressurized by the Muslims. She was threatened for life if she will not record statement in favor of Amjad and his family and after statement he took Maria along with him forcibly outside the court.
Maria’s family lawyer requested the court/judge to give time to Maria to meet her parents and siblings. The lawyer argued the court that the girl was only 14 and she was not enough sensible to get marriage at her own. He further requested the court that the girl is under age she should be handed over to the parents otherwise send to the Dar – ul –Amman (a government shelter home for women and girls involved in legal cases). The honorable court accepted the appeal and the girl was sent to the Dar- Ul Amman.
It was the chance to break pressure of the Muslim family on Maria because in the shelter no one was allowed to visit her and she could decide herself that she will go back to her parents or Muslim husband. But even in Dar-Ul-Amman Maria was scared and unable to talk to her family because of the regular visits of Amjid and his family; she was continually threatened for killing and pressurized, for that reason Maria couldn’t settle herself normally and failed to get over come from this trauma. Meanwhile Amjad presented an application to the Magistrate for the custody of his wife Maria (Muslim name is Fatima), she is her legal wife under Muslim rites (Nikkah) and has right to take her away from Dar – ul – Amman. The Magistrate summoned Maria in Dar – ul – Amman to record her statement under 164 Article of PPC. Maria said in her statement that she wants to go with her Muslim husband. Maria’s maternal uncle (Khalo) Boota Masih told CTS that, Maria was already engaged to Christian boy Maqsood and was happy for her wedding with him. She has been threatened severely by the Muslim family at Dar-Ul-Amman and forced to state against her parents.
Boota Masih also reported on phone call, that Amjad’s family continuously threatened Bushra and family to leave the place in case they will face worst circumstances. CTS team financially supported victim family and also ensured them for legal advocacy as well. Maria’s mother Bushra, grandfather and Uncle Boota Masih thanked CTS team and their efforts to approach them.