A ten year old Christian child who chose to work in a dangerous scrap factory so he could support his mother who had to fend for a family of two boys and a drug-addict husband, was raped and tortured before being killed by his Muslim employers.
Mohammad Akram and Irfan, nicknamed Kalo, were both arrested in Sarghoda on the 14th July, for the murder of Badil Shahzad, from the viallage of Rasheedabad in Essa Nagri, Faisalabad.
Badil, the son of a drug addict Shahzad Masih (42 yrs) took a job working for Mr. Akram at his scrap metal dealership for 100 rupees (50p) a day, less just 10 days earlier to help with his family meet their daily living demands.
Studio image of Badil taken for his birthday.
Mr. Masih became a burden on the family finances trying to feed his drug habit as the boys’ mother, Sharifa Bibi (40 yrs) was working as a maid earning only 3500 Pak rupees (£23) per month. Realising there was no other option Badil took it upon himself to look after his family by finding work just as the holidays began at United Presbyterian School in Essa Nagri where he attended.
BACA National Executive Mehwish Bhatti met with Sharifa Bibi who explained that her son was eagerly awaiting the summer holidays in order to commence his job search, his only desire was to be a helping hand to his mother. Even though Badil was for all intents and purposes a very small child, he was astute enough to notice what was going on within their household and would often discuss matters of finance with his mother like a responsible grown up. Sharifa, said:
“I worked hard for many hours just for the sake of my two sons so that they would not have to suffer as I have suffered without education.
"My son Badil couldn’t bear to see the struggle of his mother and insisted on working to help the family - despite my insistence that he avoid work till he was older.”
Every morning Badil was required to travel for ½ km by foot to get to his his workplace for his meagre pay. Despite his tender age he was required to begin work at 9am and would not return home till gone 6 or 7pm dependent on how quick he was able to complete his tasks. Akram soon began to work longer hours, without extra pay, as his employers began to exploit his good character and exhibited endeavour after noticing his ability within his first day at work.
Mourning neighbours with Sharifa and surviving son Moon.
“Badil was such a responsible son.
"Daily before leaving for work he asked me what should bring in the evening from his wages.
"I insisted that he kept his money for himself, but he brought groceries like sugar, rice, flour, ghee daily.”
Two days before his murder, Badil came home later than normal with only half his promised wage, which infuriated his mother. Sharifa scolded Badil and told him not to return to work the next day, suggesting he start his summer holiday homework instead which would improve his future prospects.
Badil’s mother had never wanted her son to work she always felt he should concentrate on his studies and use a good education to lever their family out of severe poverty.
Badil however was adamant he would go back to work, he hoped by working hard his employer would pay the appropriate wage. His wages did return back to normal levels after the 8th of July but he was never compensated fir the low wages of that day. On the 10th of July Badil travelled to work with his younger brother, Moon (9 yrs) who had helped once before. Moon was never paid for his work as officially it was Badil's employment.
Moon recalls “as we reached the store, we both started picking up scrap and got busy in the job.
"When Mr Akram came to the store around 5pm he started abusing Badil complaining that the work had not been completed on time.
"Badil replied in like to him and told him that he might not return the next or proceeding days as he was not being paid enough for the labour intensive tasks he was undertaking.”
“As Mr Akram heard this he ran to hit Badil but Badil ran from the shop and Akram gave chase.
"However, A friend of Akram was standing nearby on his motorcycle and told Akram to sit behind him, then both men chased Badil till they caught up with him.
"Akram then got off the motorcycle and dragged Badil back to the store.”
Moon told BACA that whilst witnessing the attack on his brother he simply continued with his work out of fear.
“They took Badil inside the store which is full of scrap.
"For half an hour I was completely unaware of what was happening with Badil inside.
"Eventually both men came outside and pretended as if nothing had happened inside.
"I thought my brother had also left the store from another exit so I went to look for him.
"I searched vigorously for 15 minutes and then saw my mother, so I rushed to her to tell her what had happened."
At around 6pm Sharifa Bibi returned home from work and noticed neither of her sons were at the house. She went to the shop to look for them and upon seeing his mother approach, Moon rushed to tell her what had happened, and they continued to search for Badil together.
After a few hours they returned home to see if Badil was there. To their surprise they could see from a distance that Badil was lying in their courtyard so they shouted out to him. When he did not respond they rushed to see why he was so non-reactive. At first Sharifa thought he was simply tired from a hard day's work and the ignominious beating of his employer. However, when she got up close she realised he was unconscious and barely alive. At this point the whole situation was too much to bear for Sharifa who began to scream and wail hysterically.
On hearing the screams local neighbours gathered and offered assistance soon witnesses began to notice injuries on Badil’s right hand and observed that he had a very swollen red face. After calling a doctor Badil was taken to Allied Hospital Faisalabad where he was admitted to Intensive Care as a medical team diligently tried to revive him. Sadly only 7 hours later at 1:30 am Badil was pronounced dead having succumbed to the impact of his injuries.
We the undersigned petition Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Government to keep to their promise of a Naya Pakistan (New Pakistan).
Please ensure Police investigate this murder fully and bring the culprits to justice.
Please end the practice of child labour in Pakistan
Please end child poverty and ensure every child in Pakistan has access to free education without discrimination of their faith.
The Justice for Badil petition to Prime Minister Imran Khan was written by Wilson Chowdhry and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.