In the year 2022 a Christian girl named Mehnaz aged about (15 to 16 years old) resident of Sheikhupra was raped by a Muslim named Muhammad Usama s/o Juj a local resident and resultantly she got pregnant. She shared this incident with her relative for getting support who instead of supporting her also raped her. Both male members harassed her that she would be killed if she disclosed this to anyone. The rape case was registered against the Christian man and police joined hands with the other culprit. The aggrieved family approached CLAAS office on May 08, 2023 for legal help and CLAAS team went to the District Court Sheikhpura for recording the statement of the victim girl.
During the visit at CLAAS, the victim Mehnaz shared that she is living in district Sheikhupura with her father and 5 minor siblings including three sisters and two brothers. They are very poor and due to their routinely disputes among parents made their life stressful. Her mother got second marriage without getting divorced from Mehnaz’s father. Her mother left them with their father and is in their contact. They are living with their paternal relatives. To meet their household needs she was forced to work as a housemaid in the house of Muslim man. She started her job as house maid in October 2022 and after fifteen days of her job she was forcefully raped by Muhammad Usama, the son of house owner. She further told that Usama warned her of dire consequences for her life if she would disclose about her rape. Usama frequently used to rape her by harassing and giving threats of killing. When she came to know that her mensuration monthly cycle was stopped then she shared to her paternal aunt but her aunt did not take it serious. Subsequently she became pregnant. Later on, Mehnaz told the incident with one of her relative Sajid Masih. Sajid Masih instead giving help to Mehnaz started harassing and exploiting her and forcefully raped with her. Further she confirmed that when she was sexually abused by Sajid Masih she was already got pregnant and presently she is eight months of pregnancy.
In April 2023 she shared about her situation to her mother who decided to raise her voice against the culprits. Her mother submitted an application against accused Usama and Sajid Masih in the police station Sadar District Shekihupura. The police lodged a FIR No. 929/ 2023, offence under section 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code only against accused Sajid Masih. The police while joining hands with accused Usama did not mentioned his name in the FIR. It is important to note here that accused belongs to majority community whereas the victim family is minority.
According to Asma Bibi, the mother of victim, the accused Usama and his parents along with other relatives are forcing her for compromise with them. They also offering money to her but she refused. Furthermore, her mother also moved an application for the medical examination through a local lawyer and got her medical report which confirmed about her pregnancy of 30-32 weeks.
On May 08, 2023 the victim along with her family approached CLAAS office for legal help. CLAAS assigned this matter to its legal advisor. On May 09, 2023 CLAAS lawyer and female staff member visited district courts Sheikhupura and moved an application under section 164 in the court of Area Judicial Magistrate for recording the statement of Mehnaza/ victim. The Judicial Magistrate summoned the record from the concerned police station and fixed the case for May 12, 2023 for statement of Mehnaz.
The underage victim girl is suffering due to the lack of parenting awareness, poverty, and child labor. Now she is worried about the child’s birth. She cannot look after the child without any support. In these types of incidents, the family preferred to give up the child instead of taking care. The victim girl also told to CLAAS team that she wants to give up the child after birth.
Although her family is supporting her to get justice, still she is in trauma due to the above-mentioned circumstance.
Please keep this girl in your prayers and we will update you after the next court hearing i.e. May 12, 2023.
On May 12, 2023 the case was adjourned for April 27, 2023 due to non-appearance of Mehnaz Bibi as she is admitted in the hospital for medical treatment.