A nine-month-old Pakistani baby accused of attempted murder has gone into hiding in an attempt to avoid charges that could be, maybe, somewhat overblown.
Baby Musa Khan was charged with attempted murder along with his father and grandfather after a mob angered by gas cuts and price increases turned violent, throwing stones at police and gas employees trying to collect bills. Apparently, the baby was slapped with the charge when a victim complained that the whole family had beaten him up. The complaint was taken very literally.
The baby, out on bail, is supposed to return to court on April 12, but his grandfather, Muhamad Yasin, said the family hasn't decided yet whether to take him to court. According to Reuters, baby Musa hasn't been all that cooperative with police so far:
At his first appearance in court last week, Musa cried while his fingerprints were taken by a court official. Later, the baby sucked on a bottle of milk and tried to grab journalists' microphones as his grandfather spoke to the media. "He does not even know how to pick up his milk bottle properly, how can he stone the police?" Yasin asked journalists at the court last Thursday.
According to CNN, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered the suspension of the officer who registered the case against the baby. Still, Musa's family is taking no chance. Their lawyer said yesterday that "The police filed a wrong, false arrest charge sheet and brought this innocent 9-month-old into this court room for an appearance."
Pakistan's police force is known to be rife with corruption, and Pakistan's The News International took the story as opportunity to reflect on the police force's incompetencies, noting:
How far police inefficiency and malice can go in Pakistan sometimes is hard to guess, as it nominated a nine-month-old infant as one of the accused of planning a murder, threatening a police team and interfering in state affairs. The interesting yet shocking development in how police works was unveiled on Thursday as an additional district and sessions judge, Rafaqat Ali Qamar, granted post-arrest bail to a nine-month old infant, Muhammad Mosa, on charges of planning the murder, threatening of a police team and interfering in state affairs.
Yasin suspects that the charges don't have all that much to do with the baby. "Police are vindictive. Now they are trying to settle the issue on personal grounds." He adds, "that's why I sent my grandson to Faisalabad for protection." Perhaps there he'll manage to finally shake his criminal lifestyle.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.