Pakistan Christians Help Family Of Raped, Killed Widow

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

ISLAMABAD (Worthy News) – Christians in Pakistan said Tuesday they will support five orphans left behind after their widowed mother was gang raped and killed by five suspected Muslim men, now in custody.

The naked, mutilated body of the 42-year-old woman, a Hindu, was discovered in Pakistan’s southeastern province of Sindh on December 27, rights investigators said.

Images of her human remains and other details too gruesome to show were shared with Worthy News. They seemed to confirm that the farm worker was sliced by a sharp sickle during the confrontation.

Worthy News typically does not name victims of sexual attacks unless they agree to come forward. But as the mother passed away and her family did not oppose the move, Worthy News decided to identify her only as Diya, a member of the minority Hindu Bheel tribe.

Like Christians, Bheel tribe members are among minority groups targeted by extremists among Pakistan’s Muslim majority, rights activists said. “Diya now leaves behind five children, the eldest daughter who is 14 years of age, who are all being looked after by their uncles,” explained the British Asian Christian Association (BACA), which was due to visit the orphans Tuesday.

BACA investigators told Worthy News that the attack happened after Diya and a daughter collected hay from a field on December 27. “They gathered up a pile, which was to be used to feed their cattle, and worked on building a second pile,” BACA recalled. “The mother asked her daughter to return home with the first pile and come back to collect a second pile while she made new piles.”


However, when her daughter returned, Diya had disappeared, “and all that could be found was her headscarf,” said BACA, a well-informed Christian advocacy group. “She searched frantically and then returned home to get help from her uncles. After a search for the mother, one of her uncles called the local police, who used sniffer dogs to find the body of the mother that had suffered a gruesome mutilation.”

Her funeral took place December 31, Worthy News learned. The local “Sinjaro Police Station has registered a murder case and is being helped by police from [the town of] Shahpurchakar due to the severity of the case. Five suspects are now in custody, and forensic evidence has been found,” BACA said.

“This includes DNA evidence obtained from the sickle used, Diya’s carcass, and from a blanket thrown on the floor for the men to lie Diya on during the sex attack,” the group added.

Juliet Chowdhry, the BACA trustee, told Worthy News that the attack was “extremely horrific.” She said: “We cannot imagine what it was like for the family member who had to identify the remains of Diya, but they must be extremely traumatized.”

Chowdhry stressed that it is “a poor indictment of Pakistan that case after case of brutal murder and rape is being reported in their nation.” She suggested that there were several reasons why women of minorities have often been singled out for sexual violence.

“Some blame the sexual delinquency in the nation on faith-induced sexual repression, others on the limited rule of law in the country. I believe a mixture of the above.”


She noted that current legislation in the Islamic nation “create a very unfortunate impunity for criminals – making it easy for such crimes to promulgate.” Her group said it would support the family financially and with advocacy efforts.

Chowdhry added: “That laws exist in Pakistan that allow freedom to rapists and murderers without punishment, or rehabilitation, is simply atrocious. The notorious Qisas and Diyat laws of Pakistan are a blight on the nation.”

She complained that they “leave the state powerless to prosecute for murder and rape and propagate.”

Yet, “Murder and rape is a crime against the public, including the victim. Such crimes should not be viewed as a civil transaction between the murderer and the victim’s heirs,” Chowdhry said.

Sexual harassment and violence against women are frequently reported in Pakistan.

Nearly 1,000 women are killed in the country annually, including in so-called “honor killings” for allegedly violating conservative norms on love and marriage.

Many women of the Christian community and other minority religious groups are known to be among the many victims.

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