Age is apparently but a number in Pakistan. An eight month year old child is now in hiding in Pakistan after reports emerged that he was charged alongside his family in Lahore, Pakistan for attempted murder.
The police force, accusing the family has been brought into public humiliation due to the handling of the event. One police officer has been suspended and an official inquiry has been ordered into how the nine-month-old Musa Khan was booked in Lahore for supposedly taking part in a riot in one of the city’s slums.
The country’s media has put to light the absurdity of the crime as Musa was brought in to get his finger print recorded at court last week. The child was so traumatized during the ordeal that he was comforted with a bottle of milk to soothe him.
He was charged alongside his Father and Grandfather after the two threw rocks during an escalated protest against gas cuts and price increases.
Musa’s Grandfather, Muhammad Yasin, said: “He does not know how to pick up his milk bottle properly, how can he stone the police?”
Musa was among five people identified in a police document known as a first information report (FIR) following protests in February in a slum area of Lahore when workers for a gas company came to try to disconnect houses that had not paid their bills.
According to the FIR, written by a now suspended assistant sub-inspector, Musa and his co-accused tried to kill the gas company workers and the policemen accompanying them by throwing rocks.
This episode has shone a light on Pakistan’s muddled criminal justice system where families can be charged for a crime due to the underpaid and ill-trained police force quicky accusing false charges that can devastate young people’s lives due to continued legal troubles.
More to follow.