A 12-year-old Pakistani Christian girl was found dead in a canal hour after her brother dropped her to school.

Tania Marriam was identified by her brother Johnson Gill on January 23 after he was called to Chenab Canal in Chak Mudhir, Sumbaryal, district Sialkot.

The family belongs to Catholic denomination and are members of the Catholic Church in Kent Sialkot.
Being the only male at home it was Johnson’s responsibility to pick and drop Tania from her school.
On 23rd January 2017 Johnson dropped Tania at the entrance gate of her school at 08:12am and watched her go into the school.

He then went straight to his work. At about 10:45am he received a call asking him to attend the canal.
He doubted it could be his sister so he called the school and discovered that Tania was marked absent and did not attend the school that day.

Johnson was still arguing with the school office when at 11:30 am he received a call from Sumbaryal policeman station telling him to go to the Upper Chenab canal.

He arrived at the scene and saw police surrounding a dead body covered in a white sheet.
He reluctantly asked the police to show him the body and was shocked to find it was his baby sister.
He immediately noticed that her mouth was full of froth and her face was covered with wet sand.
Her body was taken for an autopsy.

Johnson went home and called his father, Nadeem Gill, in Dubai. Tania’s dead body was handed over to the family at 1:30am.

The following day Nadeem Gill arrived from Dubai, the family held the funeral the same day.
Her funeral was attended by both members of the local Christian and Muslim community.
Three days after the funeral Nadeem Gill left for Dubai leaving his younger son Johnson Gill to pursue the case.

The police tried to close the case declaring it a suicide. Tania’s family strongly rejected the idea and insisted that their daughter was a happy normal twelve year old with lots of dreams and goals in life, but her life was cut short by a brutal murderer who was still at large.

According to the initial medical report there was no visible mark of violence or injury on Tania’s body, which was confirmed by her sister Hannia Gill, who washed the dead body. The results of the medical autopsy are still outstanding.

Johnson was able to acquire video footage of Tania entering the school on both days Friday 20th – when she was also marked absent – and Monday 23rd in uniform and leaving school after an hour in plain clothes.

On February 3rd Johnson was able to register an FIR and the homicide department is now handling this case.

CLAAS’s team was able to meet with the Investigating Officer Mr. Fayez Khan who informed the team that Tania’s school bag and her uniform were recovered from the school bathroom and was submitted as evidenc

He assured the team that his department was committed in providing justice to the grieved family.
Johnson has filed a petition before the magistrate to excavate Tania’s grave so that a new autopsy could be conducted in the presence of her family members. This petition is pending before the court.

After collecting the facts CLAAS’s team was convinced that this was a brutal and heinous murder of an innocent minor girl who happened to be Christian, but it was not religiously motivated.