In a harrowing incident that highlights the vulnerability of minors, a seven-year-old Christian girl named Javeria Javed fell victim to a brutal rape in Cheechawatni, Punjab.
The perpetrator, Muhammad Shameer, a Muslim individual, forced the innocent girl to a nearby farm field where he subjected her to a horrific assault.
This shocking case sheds light on the urgent need for improved protection for children and the importance of swift action by law enforcement authorities.
On the 6th of July 2023, Javeria Javed (7 yrs) was returning home from her aunt’s house in the neighborhood when she was grabbed from behind by Muhammad Shameer. He had a hand over her mouth as he forced her onto his motorcycle and took her to a secluded farm field, where he committed the heinous act. Unbeknownst to Shameer, Javeria managed to inform her parents about the incident after escaping his clutches.
Javeria had gone missing when she left her uncle’s house next to hers in the street. Unaware of her daughter’s whereabouts, Javeria’s mother Sana (35 yrs) became concerned and contacted her sister-in-law Kalsoom (45 yrs). Kalsoom told her that Javeria had already left for home. Sana began calling local relatives and friends to see if Javeria was with them. However, as the evening progressed, it became evident that Javeria was still missing, causing her mother to grow increasingly agitated. Her worry intensified as Javeria had never before ventured out without informing her mother.
The mother visited the cattle farm where her husband Javed Masih (50 yrs) works and told him about their missing child. Both the parents started searching for the girl in the street and the neighbors.
Sana spoke with British Asian Christian Association (BACA) and explained what happened, she said:
“When her aunt told me that she did not know where she was I was getting into a state of panic.
“I called local friends and family members to see if Javeria was with them – it was very unusual for her to be out that late.
“I ran to my husband’s work place, a cattle shed near our home.
“Together Javed and I searched through the streets and knocked on local homes of people we knew, hoping someone knew her whereabouts.
“No-one knew anything – I cried as we continued the search fearing the worst.”
Around 9:00pm, when after an hour’s futile struggle of searching Javeria they had finally come home and were ready to report the missing child to the police station. However, at that moment, Javeria stumbled through the gate, bleeding profusely. Javeria at this point told them about her horrendous ordeal.
Concerned for their daughter’s well-being, Javeria’s parents rushed her to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Chichawatni, which was a mere two kilometers away from their village. To their dismay, the doctors refused to treat the young girl without a police statement, deeming it a police case. Frantically, the desperate parents contacted the authorities, who promptly arrived at the hospital and recorded Javeria’s statement, finally allowing her to receive medical attention.
Sana, explained what happened:
“We took Javeria to hospital but doctors refused to receive her though she was still bleeding.
“We understand that this was a police case but I am shocked that the police interview took precedence over the life of my daughter.
“Though my husband and I pleaded with them to help my 7 year old child they refused until police had interviewed her.
“Though we feared the injuries she sustained could cause long term damage or death we had no option.
“I believe the reason they wated police involvement was because medical treatment after a crime or disaster is free, and they feared we could not pay.
“Our poverty could have led to the death of our child.”
Javeria’s road to recovery was not an easy one. She remained in the hospital’s intensive care unit for two days before being discharged. Throughout her ordeal, evidence was collected by the medical staff for a DNA test, which is expected to be available within a month. This crucial test may serve as essential evidence in the pending police investigation.
The police wasted no time in pursuing justice for Javeria. They promptly conducted a raid on the perpetrator’s house, only to discover that Shameer had already fled the village in an attempt to evade arrest. In a bid to pressure him into surrendering, the police arrested Shameer’s mother and younger brother. Their efforts to locate the culprit proved successful when, at 3:00 AM, a local political leader brought Shameer to the police station, raising questions about his motives and connections.
Sana and Javaid Masih have asked British Asian Christian Association, for help with the cost of a solicitor and for ongoing medical costs for Javeria. To help this family get justice and to help restore Javeria through treatment and counselling we need to raise around £2000. If you have read this story and feel moved to contribute to our appeal please donate (here) quoting Support for Christian Rape victims in Pakistan.
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“The appalling rape of Javeria Javed has brought to the forefront the urgent need for increased protection of minors, especially vulnerable minority girls who are targeted because of relative impunity for crimes.
“It is alarming that a local Politician has brought the rapist to a police station, as it is reminiscent of previous rape cases where politicians intervene to allow Muslims to escape justice by paying a bribe.
“The much maligned Qisas and Diyat laws of Pakistan allow rapists and murderers a get out of jail free card for heinious crimes such as rape and murder.
“This law should be revoked if Pakistan desires to be viewed as a nation that champions international human rights – or simply wishes to adhere to the covenants they have subscribed to.”
“In 2014, a report by Muslim NGO ‘Movement of Solidarity and Peace’ estimated that 700 Christian girls and 300 Hindu girls are kidnapped, raped and forced into Islamic marriages every year.
“That statistic is believed to be conservative by Christian NGO’s and does not include individuals who are raped and set free.”
“This devastating incident highlights the importance of swift and empathetic response from law enforcement and healthcare professionals when dealing with such sensitive cases.
“As the investigation unfolds, Pak-society must stand together to ensure justice is served, and steps are taken to prevent future occurrences.”