On 23rd January 2017 Johnson (21 yrs) dropped his 12 year old sister Tania to the Convent of Jesus and Mary school by motorcycle, a trip he had made hundreds of times previously, to ensure his sister was safe in a nation where Pakistani Christian girls are deemed booty to many indoctrinated young Muslim men (click here).
This day however was going to become the stuff of nightmares only hours later for Johnson and his entire family.
After dropping off his sister, Johnson had started his work as a courier and begun his regular deliveries. He had had to leave school at year eight to help finance his family, but was not the keenest learner anyway. Despite his lack of opportunity he was extremely proud of Tania his youngest sister who was getting extremely good grades at school and had a bright future before her.
Later that morning at 11:30 a call was made by local police to Johnson, informing him of the death of his sister who had drowned in the Upper Chenab Canal and asking him to identify her body. Apparently they found Johnson's telephone number on a register that was with Tania.
On hearing the news of the death of their beloved sister Johnson and Sania ran to the site where she was located. There they saw the devastating sight of their sister's dead body wrapped in a white Police cloth. The shock left them reeling as they fell to their knees and wept by her frail dead body, they wept incessantly and bitterly for the loss of their beloved sister.
The family had always known their fair share of tragedy as their mother Catherine died when Tania was 4 years old after a severe heart attack, which had ripped the joy out of the family. Catherine's sister Sheela (36 yrs) moved by the loss of a mother for her nieces and nephews stepped in to help the family recover and over a period of time father Nadeem (46 yrs) and Sheela realized they had fallen in love. With the consent of the family the couple were married two years ago and now have an additional daughter Mary (35 days).
For all intents and purposes Sheela has been a mother to all the children including eldest sister Sania (24 yrs) and Harrisson (22 yrs) since the death of her sister Catherine, and the children also love Sheela dearly and have very strong bonds between each other too.
Father Nadeem Gill works as an electric foreman in Dubai. with his eldest son Harrisson, while Catherine remains at home caring for those under her protection.
Tania was like one of Sheela's own as Tania had spent more time with Sheela then ever with her own mother due to her early and untimely death. Tania was also a favourite of all her siblings as she had been the youngest for so long and was adored for her pleasant behaviour. All the family knew how jolly a young girl Tania was who had the love of her family and friends. So as you can imagine, it came as a shock to them when Police blundered through the investigation of her death and alleged that Tania had committed suicide by jumping into the canal.
Several factors have led the family to refute this position held by the police who they say are corrupt. Firstly the family contend that when they saw Tania's dead body her mouth was full of froth, a recognized symptom of a commonly used date rape drug.
Secondly the family have not received any conclusive answer to their concerns about their daughter's Shalwar (trousers) having been badly ripped. They believe this to have been a result of a rape.
Thirdly the family are concerned that as part of the police investigation it was reported that Tania spent her days at school in deep depression. They have questioned pupils and friends who believe this to be an unfounded allegation and an attempt to deflect the truth.
Lastly on the day of her death CCTV footage shows her wearing her school uniform to school with casual clothes underneath, a common occurrence in Pakistan, during the cold weather. However when she left she told the security officer that she would be leaving with her mum and entered a vehicle which had someone else inside, someone she clearly was not afraid of and knew. Moreover, she was no longer wearing her uniform.
The family have stated the police have not been cooperative and have not investigated their concerns. Moreover, they have now applied for their daughters body to be exhumed and an independent autopsy to be initiated. They have raised concerns that on the day of the autopsy for Tania, Dr Tabassum who carried out the investigation was off duty. She had been called in specifically at the behest of the police to undertake the medical examination despite an on call doctor. The family allege that she colluded with the police.
Police failings have been wholesale. The family had immediately informed their father and eldest brother in Dubai of Tania'a death. The two of them wasted no time in reaching Pakistan the following day. However despite telling the police in no uncertain terms that they wanted no examinations to be undertaken on their daughter till they arrived back to oversee the process, the local constabulary took the body to Civil Hospital Sambrial for postmortem. Moreover under duress Johnson was forced to authorize the procedure.
On 24th when Johnson and Sania led the funeral for their departed sister they noticed a strange clean shaved middle aged man with a paler (whiter) complexion who was following them. Sania remained quiet but observed that the man continuously kept an eye on them. She ignored him till later she noticed that when the funeral procession entered the graveyard he was still following. Something welled up in her and she cried out "this is the culprit" and the man ran away. People chased after him but the wrong man was caught by the crowd who was later released. Sania still believes the suspicious man was involved in her sister's murder.
Tania's belongings including a school bag, uniform, register and the casual clothes she was wearing when she died are all with the police. The family is in deep trauma as they want justice. SHO Rana Zulfiqar at Sambrial Police station is not co-operating and has not conducted any serious and detailed investigation. It has been more then a week since the death of Tania and they have not registered a murder enquiry.
This tragic death has been reported by many Pakistani media who all find the suicide allegation false but local police are reluctant to co-operate with the family. The family want to know who was with Tania in the van, as they believe this mysterious figure is the murderer.
Tania also had a tablet which she would often use to play games with. She skyped with her father using this tablet daily and made different videos of her family and fun videos with friends. The tablet was at home but is locked and they want it uncoded and checked for any clues that could lead to a culprit for the alleged murder of their daughter.
Nadeem Gill spoke with our officer Ambar Saroya, He said:
"Tania was young, happy and full of energy. There is absolutely no way she would take her own life!
"Every day in the evening we would spend an hour talking on Skype she would tell me what she had done through the day and would ask me about my day. S|he was a truly wonderful and loving daughter.
"I hated being so far away from her but had to feed my family, I earn more in Dubai then I could ever earn in Pakistan where Christians are hated so much. Sadly the distance meant I could not be with my daughter when she most needed me.
"Our corrupt police force is preventing justice for my daughter. But I will never give up till her murderer is found."
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
"We hope and pray this family get some justice, they have suffered enough.
"Pakistani statutory authorities and the Government need to recognize the growing concern of evident targeting of Christian girls for rape and forced Islamic marriage. (click here)
"Tania's case fits the profile of many other similar rape incidents, sadly in her case it lead to murder.
"By ignoring the plight of minority girls, Pakistan as a nation is developing a poor reputation for human rights and it may simply illustrate that most of the population do not care.
"The onus has to be on the Government of Pakistan to clamp down on such crime and to remove the perceived impunity. Their inactivity only continues to blight the nation."
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Thursday, February 2, 2017