RAWALPINDI: A five-year-old child was shot and killed during celebratory gunfire near Lal Haveli on Independence Day, while three other people – including an eight-month-old and a 12-year-old – were critically injured in different parts of the city.

Police said Haram Ali, 5, was on the roof of his house when he was struck by a bullet fired in Naya Mohallah during a fireworks demonstration at midnight. He was taken to a hospital, where he died in the early hours of Wednesday.

In another incident, eight-month-old Ghulam Mustafa was injured in celebratory gunfire on Tuesday night.

Eid Gah Mohallah resident Ghazanfar Ali told Banni police that he was on the roof of his house at midnight on Wednesday with his infant on his lap when he was shot in the head amid firing by two brothers who live in the neighbourhood.

Samiullah was shot by a stray bullet in Pirwadhai, while a 12-year-old girl was shot and injured in the Waris Khan area.

A police spokesperson said a case of attempted murder has been registered with the Banni police in the case of the infant against the two alleged shooters, and raids are ongoing to arrest them.

In the case of the killing of five-year-old Ali, City Police Officer (CPO) Mohammad Faisal Rana contacted his relatives twice and offered them the choice of legal action, which they ultimately rejected. He also sent the Rawal Division Superintendent of Police Akram Niazi to visit the father of the victim, Mohammad Shahid after the child’s death so he could speak to the CPO.

Show-cause notices were served by the CPO to the concerned station house officers (SHO) seeking explanations for how firing into the air occurred in their jurisdictions.

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2019