Mumtaz Masih, the father of young a Christian woman, Samreen, who escaped a rape attempt by a Muslim employee of the local hotel has been accused in a false case of theft.
Samreen said that she worked as a domestic servant at Basti Rehan Pure, Kabir Wala, Khanewal.
She explained: “On the morning of June 10, my mother dropped me off at my workplace and when I finished my work around 11 am, I was coming home with my aunt.
“When we reached near the Taj Mahal Mehboob Hotel, a hotel employee, Waseem (baker) all of a sudden blocked our way and started dragging me inside the hotel and when I resisted he started beating me.
“He held me by the arm and forcibly dragged me into the hotel with malicious intent. My aunt and I started screaming for help, hearing our cries some people arrived and asked him to stop beating me and let me go. But instead, he continued beating me until finally other people intervened, and he left me to go home.
“When I arrived home, I told my family all about the situation. My father got angry and along with other people went to the hotel to dig into the matter and warn Waseem never to do this again. But instead of apologising, Waseem and his colleagues started threatening and fighting with my father and other family members.
“Someone called the police who took Waseem away, but later on they released him without charging him for beating and sexually harassing me in public.”
Samreen further said: “On the same day my father handed an application to the police officer to register a case against Waseem for sexually harassing and beating me, instead of registering an FIR against him, the police adversely registered a case against my father and other family members and arrested them all.”
The first information report (FIR) which was registered against Masih, and other members of Samreen’s family said that Masih with about 50 others entered by force into the hotel with weapons and beat Waseem and also stole Pak Rs. 179,000 (US $ 630).
According to Samreen, her father works as a hawker at a bus station in Kabirwala. They are six brothers and sisters, two sisters and four brothers. All are married other than Samreen and live separately while she lives with her parents and works as a maid to help my family.
Samreen said: “We are poor while Waseem has bribed the police and that is why the police filed a false case against my father and other family members rather than charging Waseem. We are afraid and do not know what to do because most of our family members are held in a police cell.”
She called on churches and Christian organisations to help and stand by their side in this critical and complex situation.