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Landlord’s son arrested for girl’s murder

By Shamsul Islam

FAISALABAD: Samundri Sadar police have arrested a man from an influential family for the murder of a Christian girl found shot and killed on November 27.

The family of deceased Amariah Masih, 18, had accused Arif Gujjar, 28, who belongs to an influential landowning family of the village, and his accomplices of killing the girl after sexually assault.

Sub Inspector Abdul Ghani, who is investigating the case, told The Express Tribune that Gujjar had denied the allegations during interrogation. “He said the girl must have committed suicide,” he said.

Ghani said Gujjar had been arrested under Section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) but added that the police had yet to produce the suspect before the court. The law requires that a suspect be produced before the court within 48 hours of arrest.

Also, he said, the police had to ascertain the identity and number of Gujjar’s accomplices and recover the weapon allegedly used to kill the girl.

SI Ghani said the sexual assault charge would be added to the FIR only if it was established in the report of the medical samples sent to a laboratory in Lahore.

The SI said according to the post mortem examination report two bullet wounds were found in the body, one in the chest and the other in the abdomen.

According to the complaint filed by the girl’s father, Mansha Masih, Amariah was kidnapped by Gujjar in Chak No475-GB on her way to a well to fetch water. It said the deceased was accompanied by her mother, Razia Bibi. She told the police that Gujjar and an unidentified man intercepted them and took her daughter away. She said the two beat her up on putting up resistance. The body of the girl was found lying in the fields the next day.

Mansha told to the Tribune that the family of the suspect was pressuring him to withdraw the FIR. “They’re influential people but I won’t settle for compensation,” he said.

He alleged that Gujjar and his friends were notorious for misbehaving with girls from poor households.

He said a Muslim delegation had visited him after his daughter’s funeral. “They assured me of their support in prosecuting the suspect,” he said. Father Zafal Iqbal, who led the funeral services, said there were a large number of Christian households in the village and that they would all assist the bereaved family and ensure that justice was done in the case.