Category: Current Affairs
Published on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:00
In one of the most absurd police cases of recent times, a 9-month-old baby boy, Mohammed Musa, is perhaps the youngest person in the world to be charged with attempted murder. The baby along with his family was accused of attacking government officials. Little Musa was ultimately presented in court, and instead of the judge dismissing this crazy notion and dropping charges against the angel-faced boy, the judge ended up granting him bail instead.
It all started one fateful day in February, when Musa's family home in Lahore, Pakistan was raided by a group of police officers and energy officials. The family which consisted of 30 members was accused of not paying their bills, to which it was claimed they reacted violently by threatening the officials and attacking them with stone and wooden sticks to the point that the law enforcement team had no choice but to flee in order to stay alive.
Sub-inspector Kashif Mohammed, who was in charge of the crime scene, later wrote a First Incident Report (FIR), calling it a case of attempted murder. He apparently believed that the entire family was responsible. So he chose not to leave any of them out of the report, not even the baby. Following the report, the child and his family were arrested.
When the accused toddler appeared before the judge on 4 April, he innocently sat on his father's lap, sucking on his milk bottle. Even someone with a partially functioning brain could have guessed that the boy had nothing to do with the incident, yet the judge granted him bail instead of dropping charges. Baby Musa could not even sign his own bail documents. He began to cry as his grandfather dipped his finger in a bottle of ink and placed it on the bond.
Inspector Kashif has since been suspended from duty for negligence while filing the case. According to Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Rana Abdul Jabbar, a probe has been ordered into the incident. “A nine-month-old can never commit such a crime,” he said. “This incident took place due to sheer misunderstanding on the police’s part and was not done on purpose.”
Apparently, the inspector lodged a complaint against all the men in the family – Yasin, his two sons Imran and Irfan, and they have their own sons as well. Unfortunately, Inspector Kashif didn’t realize that Imran had only one son, an infant. He wrote in the report that the accused (baby Musa) caught him, beat him up and gave him a head injury. Wow this must be a superhuman baby!
Yasin has claimed that the police had fabricated all charges because they wanted to ultimately evict the family and their neighbors from the area. The first step was to illicitly sever their cooking gas line. “The police and gas company officials came without any notice and started removing gas meters from our houses,” he said.
“Residents started protesting and blocked the road but ended the protest when senior police officers arrived in the area and assured them that no injustice would be done. But later, we found out that cases have been filed against us.” According to Mohammed Ahmed, Musa’s father, the police registered fake cases against a total of 25 people from the area.
Chaudhry Irfan Sadiq, the family’s lawyer, said that the court should have dropped all charges against the child. “The court should have simply referred the minor’s case to the High Court to drop the charges against the innocent child and acquit him from the case,” he said. “This case exposes the incompetence of our police force and the way they are operating.”
In Pakistan, the minimum age of criminal responsibility was increased last year from 7 years to 12 years, except in cases related to terrorism. But the judge chose to ignore the law, claiming that the case wasn’t under his jurisdiction.
The case hearing was then postponed to 12 April where a Pakistani lawyer said the judge announced the decision after Saturday's court hearing during which police said it had dropped the charge against the boy. He said police had registered the case against the toddler and his family members without investigating the matter and the judge had sought an explanation.
The case highlights the country's dysfunctional criminal justice system where even children are not immune from questionable legal decisions.
Check out the video below of this ridiculous case.