Â 12-year-old Christian schoolgirl was murdered in Pakistan last week and evidence suggests she was also drugged and raped, despite police claims that she committed suicide.
The girl has been identified by her first name, Tania, in a report by the British Pakistani Christian AssociationÂ which has started an online petitionÂ seeking to catch whoever committed the crime.
Tania was reportedly dropped off to school on Jan. 23 by her older brother, Johnson, but later that morning he recieved a call from the local police station informing him that his sister had drowned in the Upper Chenab Canal.
“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 report explained.
“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 police at first alleged that the girl had committed suicide by jumping into the canal; however, the family is arguing that she was likely raped, given that her mouth was full of froth, which is a recognized symptom of a commonly used date rape drug.
The family has also said that Tania’s trousers were badly ripped, which they believe was the result of rape, and have disputed a police report that claims Tania suffered “deep depression” in school, noting that pupils and friends argue that this is an “unfounded allegation.”
The report details other problematic aspects of the police claim that Tania killed herself, including CCTV footage that showed her getting into a vehicle outside of school with someone else inside. The family is also calling for an independent autopsy of their daughter’s body.
Nadeem Gill, the girl’s father, said that 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. She was a truly wonderful and loving daughter,” Gill added.
“Our corrupt police force is preventing justice for my daughter. But I will never give up until her murderer is found.”
Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA, who urged Christians to sign the petitionÂ calling for justice for Tania, said that the family has 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,” Chowdhry said.
“Tania’s case fits the profile of many other similar rape incidents, sadly in her case it led to murder,” he added.
“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.”
Christians in Pakistan have suffered various attacks from the Muslim majority population for years, with persecution watchdog groups, such as Open Doors USA, ranking the country at No. 4 on its World Watch List of nations where Christians face the most severe persecution for their faith.
Open Doors noted that besides being unfairly targeted by Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws, hundreds of Christian girls and women in Pakistan are also kidnapped, raped and forced into Islamic marriages.