- The Punjab police confirmed the arrest of a suspect and stated that the accused confessed to the crime of LUMS employee Shazia Bibi, mentioning that the deceased had been blackmailing them.
- Bishop Marshall confirmed the arrest of the main suspect but demanded justice for Shazia Bibi, suggesting she was killed for refusing to convert.
- Shazia’s family expressed concerns about receiving justice, given their previous experience with the lack of justice in their brother-in-law’s murder case.
LUMS employee Shazia Bibi was reported missing on June 6 in Lahore and later discovered deceased on the same day, according to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by her brother.
The news of the murder emerged on Saturday, July 1, after it gained attention on social media, despite the FIR being dated June 6. The Punjab police released a statement on Twitter confirming the arrest of a suspect.
Based on the preliminary investigation, the police tweeted, “The accused admitted to committing the crime. According to the confession, the deceased began blackmailing the accused.”
The police responded to a Twitter user who questioned the authorities and LUMS administration’s silence, stating, “Attributing religious motives to the murder is incorrect and completely contrary to the facts. Further investigation is ongoing, and the case will be handled according to the principles of justice and the law. The guilty will be punished.”
واقعہ کا مقدمہ درج کرکے ملزم کو حراست میں لے لیا گیا ہے۔ابتدائی تحقیقات کے مطابق مقتولہ کے خاوند کی روڈ ایکسیڈنٹ میں وفات کے بعد مقتولہ کے ملزم سے تعلقات استوار ہوئے۔ملزم اپنے جرم کا اعتراف بھی کر چکا ہے، اعترافی بیان کے مطابق مقتولہ نے ملزم کو بلیک میل کرنا شروع کر دیا تھا۔ قتل… https://t.co/eZH6Kz93G3 pic.twitter.com/EMDu59CFCh
— Punjab Police Official (@OfficialDPRPP) July 1, 2023
Bishop Marshall confirmed the apprehension of the primary suspect but called for justice for Shazia Bibi. He also alleged that she was killed because she refused to convert.
President Bishop Church of Pakistan, Bishop Azad Marshall, expressed his sympathy for Shazia Bibi’s children and family. He stated that she was abducted, sexually assaulted, and murdered by four Muslim men on June 6 after repeatedly rejecting attempts to coerce her into converting and marrying the primary accused. He added that Shazia was the sole provider for her children after her husband’s alleged murder in 2021.
Our hearts go out to the children and family members of Shazia Bibi, who was abducted, gangraped, murdered and her body doused in acid by four Muslim men on June 6 after she repeatedly turned down attempts to forcibly convert and marry the main accused.
Shazia was the sole…
— Bishop Azad Marshall (@BishopAzadM) July 1, 2023
“While the primary suspect has been arrested and has confessed to this gruesome crime, there are efforts to pressure the family into reconciling with the murderers,” Marshall tweeted.
Marshall demanded justice for the victim’s family and called on the government to ensure their safety in the face of serious threats.
According to Zafar Masih, Shazia’s brother, she had been a LUMS employee for the past 18 months. On the evening of Tuesday, June 6, Shazia left for work as usual, with her shift scheduled from 5 pm to 11 pm. However, she never returned home that night, causing immediate concern for her family. Despite their tireless search and efforts to contact relatives and friends, they were unable to locate Shazia.
The following day, the worried family contacted the local police emergency hotline (115). Subsequently, they received a distressing call from the Hyer police station, informing them that a body matching Shazia’s description had been found. Zafar and other family members identified the body as Shazia Imran at the police station. The police revealed that she had been discovered in a plot located in Askari 11 DHA earlier that morning, around 8:30 am.
Family members disclosed that Shazia had experienced persistent harassment from the accused, identified as Mani, who continuously pressured her to convert to Islam and marry him against her will. Shazia confided in her sister-in-law about this, but she chose not to share it with her brothers due to her fear of escalating conflict between Mani and her brothers. The family believes that the murder of Shazia’s husband, Imran Masih, led her to silently endure the torment, hoping to shield her loved ones from further harm.
Zafar further revealed that Shazia’s husband tragically lost his life a year and a half ago under mysterious circumstances. The police had initially arrested him while he was returning home from his job at a gym. They later claimed his death was accidental, despite suspicions of foul play.
Zafar expressed doubts about receiving justice in his sister’s case, citing the lack of justice they had experienced in their brother-in-law’s murder. He voiced concerns that despite Mani’s pre-arrest bail being denied, he would eventually secure bail, depriving them of the justice they desperately sought.
Shazia leaves behind three children: two sons, Salman (16) and Abrar (6), and a daughter, Aliza (7). The traumatized children have sought refuge with their uncle, Zafar. Salman has taken on the responsibility of providing for the family by working at a local gym, attempting to fill the void left by his late father. However, financial constraints have prevented the younger children from pursuing their education.
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