Attempted murder case against Pakistani 9-month-old stokes anger

Published: April 9, 2014

This photograph taken on April 3, 2014 shows a Pakistani lawyer taking the thumb impression from nine-month-old toddler Mohammad Musa on a bail bond in Lahore. STRSTR/AFP/Getty Images

ZAHEER BABAR and MUNIR AHMED
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAHORE, Pakistan — A 9-month-old Pakistani boy has been swept up in an attempted murder investigation that highlights the country’s dysfunctional criminal justice system where even children are not immune from questionable legal decisions.

The toddler was brought to court last week as part of an investigation relating to an incident where residents in his neighbourhood clashed with police. He was granted bail by a judge.

The incident began in late January and touches on many of the challenges Pakistan faces such as electricity shortages and faulty police investigations.

Police and energy officials went to the neighbourhood on Jan. 31 to disconnect customers who they said were stealing electricity and gas. Such pilferage is common in Pakistan, and attempts to disconnect customers are sometimes met with violence.

Police said they were pelted with stones by angry residents, while the toddler’s grandfather says some neighbourhood women attacked the police with batons. That altercation sparked police to open an attempted murder investigation into 30 people in the neighbourhood, including the father of the toddler and his unnamed son, said police officer Atif Zulfiqar, who is in charge of the area.

The grandfather, Malik Muhammed Yaseen, said the police came to the house multiple times looking for the son, and when they were told that he was less than a year old they told the family to take him to the court to get bail.

A lawyer for the family, Irfan Tarar, said police appeared to have no idea that the son was so young. He said after the boy was brought to the court on April 3 to get bail, the family spirited him away to the city of Faisalabad to protect him.

The lawyer said the police “blindly” registered the attempted murder case against a baby and said the entire episode was really related to a property dispute between the landlord and the tenants, which included the baby’s family.

But Zulfiqar from the police contends the family isn’t being truthful. He said the police hadn’t deliberately targeted the infant but were looking for a more grown-up son that they believe the family is still protecting. He said the family produced the infant as a way to deflect attention. The grandfather denied this.

Wherever the truth lies, legal analysts say the case shows the deficiencies in a Pakistani criminal justice system where police often lack investigation skills and the legal system can be abused for personal gain.

Legal expert Babar Awan said the judge should have thrown out the case against the baby the day he was produced in court and faulted the police for a shoddy investigation.

“There is also a flaw in the legal system, and it needs to be reformed,” he said.

The next hearing the case is April 12 although the family’s lawyer says they have been told by the police that they are dropping any investigation of the infant.

Related stories:

——

Ahmed contributed from Islamabad.

15:59ET 09-04-14

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

Surrey-crime-stats

Surrey mom who lost her daughter to a drunk driver calls for tougher laws

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Dare to know how many times police in B.C. issued Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for impaired driving over the past…
Continue Reading »

India-entertainment-obscene

India bans Comedy Central over ‘obscene and vulgar’ programming

VANCOUVER DESI U.S. entertainment channel Comedy Central has been banned in India after the government labeled some of its programming as “obscene and vulgar,” BBC…
Continue Reading »

terrorism

Homegrown Terror series wraps up with public forum in Surrey

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI Local experts will gather Friday night to discuss issues of security and homegrown terrorism in the wake of last month’s two…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Surrey-crime-stats

Surrey mom who lost her daughter to a drunk driver calls for tougher laws

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Dare to know how many times police in B.C. issued Immediate Roadside Prohibitions for impaired driving over the past…
Continue Reading »

NDP Minister

Editorial: Amrik Virk should do the honourable thing and resign

THE PROVINCE If Advanced Education Minister and former Mountie Amrik Virk doesn’t understand why he should resign his portfolio, Premier Christy Clark should ease him…
Continue Reading »

terrorism

Homegrown Terror series wraps up with public forum in Surrey

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI Local experts will gather Friday night to discuss issues of security and homegrown terrorism in the wake of last month’s two…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

NDP Minister

Editorial: Amrik Virk should do the honourable thing and resign

THE PROVINCE If Advanced Education Minister and former Mountie Amrik Virk doesn’t understand why he should resign his portfolio, Premier Christy Clark should ease him…
Continue Reading »

TANDOORI KINGS OF COMEDY

Abbotsford comics’ bid for TV show doesn’t make the cut

VANCOUVER DESI After more than a month of contest challenges and video production, two Abbotsford comedians’ pitch for a cross-cultural comedy show will not be…
Continue Reading »

sex-psycho-scandal

Jian Ghomeshi charged with four counts of sexual assault, released on $100,000 bail

LAUREN STRAPAGIEL CANADA.COM Former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been released on bail after being charged with four counts of sexual assault. In addition to…
Continue Reading »

10413566DESI

University confessions Facebook pages can show the hardships of college life in B.C. (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI “Today I decided that I would start studying for finals,” an anonymous student wrote to the UBC Confessions Facebook page on…
Continue Reading »

terrorism

Dharm Makwana: Presumed guilty until you miss your flight

  DHARM MAKWANA VANCOUVER DESI By the end of the ordeal my wife was on the verge of tears. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Veena Malik

Bollywood actress Veena Malik’s five top controversies before blasphemy charges

HINDUSTAN TIMES Controversy seems to be Veena Malik’s second name. As she accepted herself in an interview to Hindustan Times a few years back, it…
Continue Reading »

FILE - Cricketer Phil Hughes Dies Due To Head Injuries Sustained From Bouncer Delivery

Too sudden, too soon: Bollywood on Phillip Hughes’ death

IANS Mumbai – An array of Indian film celebrities Thursday expressed shock at the demise of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, who died after being struck…
Continue Reading »

Junior Lata-Bollywood-song-music

Video of 11-year-old girl singing Bollywood song ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ goes viral

VANCOUVER DESI A video of a 11-year-old Indian girl singing Lata Mangeshkar’s Bollywood song Satyam Shivam Sundaram has gone viral on social media and drawn…
Continue Reading »