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Pakistani Muslim Admits Responsibility for Tragic Demise of Christian Woman

A Christian family in Lahore, Pakistan is seeking justice and protection after four Muslims abducted, gang-raped and killed a widow for refusing to convert to Islam and marry the primary suspect, sources said.

In the killing of 40-year-old Shazia Imran last month, the assailants slashed her neck and doused her with acid, her brother said, though it was not known if the acid burns came before or after her death. The primary suspect has confessed to the killing, according to police.

Shazia Imran’s husband also was killed a year and a half ago, and the family has seen no justice in that case either as police cast it as an accident, said her brother, Zafar Masih.

Shazia Masih, who began working as a nanny at a daycare center at the Lahore University of Management Sciences after her husband’s death, left her rented home in Lahore’s Mehar Town for work on June 6 but did not return, Zafar Masih said. He said that the primary suspect, Noman (known as Mani) Gujjar, was a notorious area criminal and had been pressuring her to convert to Islam along with her children and marry him.

“Shazia did not share this with us due to fears for our security, but three days before her abduction, she told [another relative] that Gujjar had threatened to kill her if she did not surrender to his demand,” Zafar Masih told Morning Star News.

After Shazia Masih’s oldest son, 16, informed Zafar Masih that she had not returned home, he and other relatives began searching for her. Unable to find her, they informed police of her disappearance on June 7.

“Later in the day we received a call from the Hyer police station that they had found a body from a plot that matched Shazia’s description,” Zafar Masih said. “We immediately went to the police station, but when we saw the body, we could not believe our eyes. Shazia’s jugular vein had been slit with a sharp object, and her body had been badly burnt by acid.”

A forensic examination revealed that she had been gang-raped before being killed, said Zafar Masih, a member of a local evangelical church.

Police arrested Gujjar, and though he confessed to the murder, officers seemed uninterested in arresting three suspected accomplices, Gujjar’s brother and two cousins, Zafar Masih said.

“The accused are very influential, and they have been persistently threatening us to reconcile and withdraw the case,” he said. “Due to these threats, we have been forced to go into hiding and are not even free to pursue the case. Gujjar is still in police custody, but we doubt that we’ll get justice for our sister, as the police’s bias is evident by its inaction against the remaining accused.”

Zafar Masih said the incident had traumatized Shazia’s children, the oldest as well as a 7-year-old and a 6-year-old. His elderly mother is taking care of them.

“We have lost all hope for justice and appeal to our church leaders and government officials to provide justice and security to us,” he said…continue reading

Source: Morning Star News

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