On 7 January a 13-year-old girl escaped a rape attempt in Muridke, near Lahore. The alleged culprit returned with a gang of people and threw petrol on her and set her on fire. Presently the girl is under treatment at Mayo Hospital Lahore and is fighting for her life. The police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) in Sadar Police Station Muridke and are investigating the matter.

The doctors and staff attending to the girl at Mayo Hospital are not very hopeful about her recovery. A doctor speaking to The Nation said, “She is in critical condition. All efforts are being made to treat her.” The girl is in extreme trauma due to which no one is allowed to visit her. The moment she sees an unknown faces she gets hysterical.

The girl’s family comes from a very poor background. Her father M. Khalid who is a daily wager said, “The girl was alone at home when Azaam Kamboh (the alleged culprit) attacked her. She escaped the attack but soon he came with a group of men who barged inside the house and threw petrol on her and burnt her.” Khalid says half of her body has been burnt.

“I was at work, I received a call at about 11:30 am that this has happened and I rushed home. When I reached home I came to know that while the culprits were trying to escape they even beat up my wife when she came home. I thank God that my younger kids escaped the attack.”

Khalid continued: “The police have asked me for Rs 25,000 if we want the culprit to be arrested. How can I manage that? I can’t give her the required medicines that the doctors are asking to bring, how will I give the police this amount? He asked “Where is the CM Punjab? We had no enemies; even so why has this happened to us?”

Khalid was asked if he felt he was under threat. “I can’t face anyone in the village now, we will have to leave the place. My brothers and I have been getting calls to take the FIR back but I will not do that. I may be killed but I will get justice for my daughter.”

When asked about his financial condition he said he had been injured in the head a few years ago so he could not do any manual labor, or carry anything on his head. So he has very limited earnings. However he was sending his kids to school so they can become better when they grow up.

The girl’s mother also spoke to The Nation saying, “My daughter’s life has been destroyed. She is in great pain. I don’t know what I can to help her feel better. For us our life has been destroyed.” While crying she said, she would never forgive the culprits. “Today it is their daughter; tomorrow it can be another girl, when will we get justice? We are poor people we can’t even feed ourselves properly,we don’t have socks to wear in this cold. How these doctors and police expect us to pay for the expensive medicines or pay such heavy amounts to get justice?” she asked.

The people of Muridke wait along with the family of the girl to see if justice is served, or if like many others this case too is consigned to the files under influence of the notables of the area.