Sharifa Bibi with her surviving son.
A ten year old Christian child who chose to work in a dangerous scrap factory so he could support his mother who had to fend for a family of two boys and a drug-addict husband, was raped and tortured before being killed by his Muslim employers. Our report on Badil’s murder can be read (here)
In her statement given to the Muharar Mohammad Shahid, Sharifa Bibi accused Irfan Murad and Ikram for a brutal murder of her 11 years old son Badil Shehzad.
A First Information Report (FIR 1132/19) was registered as early as 11/07/2019 in Ghulam Muhammad Abad Police Station. But Later the investigating officer Khizar Hayat declared Ikram innocent of the charge of murder. It is believed that a large bribe was paid to police officers for the investigation to be scuppered.
The family began to pursue the case in Faisalabad District court with the help of British Asian Christian Association , presided over by Judicial Magistrate Muhammad Pervaiz Khan.
On 3rd December 2019, however the case was shifted to be pursued in the court of Worthy Sessions Courts Faisalabad, as it was proven to be a murder and that was in the jurisdiction of Judicial Magistrate, Muhammad Yusaf Ajula.
On 9th December 2019, after the hearing Sayed Ali Hammad Naqvi Deputy Director for Public Prosecutions for Punjab state and Sessions Judge for Faisalabad Muhammad Yusaf Ajula, ordered for Muhammad Ikram s/o Muhammad Murad to be summoned to face trial.
Despite sufficient evidence and the recorded statements of several witnesses, a bail petition filed by Muhammad Ikram was accepted on 13th December 2019, against a surety bond of 100,000 Rs.
Meanwhile, the family of the culprits have been regularly threatening Sharifa bibi and other key eye witnesses with dire consequences, if they continue to pursue or give evidence in this murder case. They have been bribing influential leaders within the town who have paid or pressurized the eye witnesses to not record their statements. Sharifah Bibi, said:
“Waqas Masih, one of the two eyewitnesses is now very frightened and may not share his account – this would negatively impact on our case.
“The police and the courts are providing no protection for witnesses, instead they seem to be advancing the defence of the murderers.
“My ten year old child was raped and murdered by Muslim men who have a higher status than Christians, so their crimes are simply forgiven by the authorities.”
“The families and friends of the men are not disgusted by their crimes, they seem to want to free them so they can do the same to other children.
“If Badil was a Muslim child there would be many voices calling for justice – a Christian child is truly worthless in Pakistan.”
Through fear of an impending attack, Sharifa and her surviving son (8 years) have been moved to a safe place. She is a diabetes patient and her condition has worsened since the death of her son and she is exhibiting signs of depression. Sharifa Bibi, added:
“The families of the murderers have offered me money as a compromise for the murder of my young boy, but how can I accept?
“They have torn my heart in two and shattered all my hope and confidence.
“I will fight for justice for my son till I am completely broken – his rape and death at such a young age is an evil of no comparison.”
The judicial process has been delayed during the recent COVID-19 lockdown, but courts have resumed in the last few weeks.
Advocate Muhammad Zubair Janjua has been very candid with British Asian Christian Association,he said:
“The court is providing extremely long dates between hearings which is very unusual for murder cases.
“The eye-witnesses were willing to give their testimonies and we had submitted all our evidence, it just does not make sense.
“These delays allow for supporters of the culprits to threaten witnesses and the complainant, which then enables them to push for a compromise.
“It is a poor indictment of the attitude of our Pakistani Courts towards Christians.”
Joel Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“A young boy has been murdered and instead of the murder trial being fast-tracked the murders are free on bail.
“There seems to be a distinct lack of justice for Christians in Pakistan, who have become Pariah’s in their ancestral lands.”
Due to Muharam-Ul-Haram holidays, a hearing on 28th August 2020 was postponed till 21st September, which was again postponed till 10th October then cancelled again. The case is now to be heard on 28th October but it is unknown whether the witnesses will now testify.
BACA is helping Many families with the cost for legal advocates and costs associated with staying safe and attending court hearings. please help us continue this support by donating (here).