Child forced to lick smouldering axe head ‘to prove innocence’ in DG Khan

Published August 5, 2021
The child suffered tongue burns and was taken to the Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) hospital for treatment. — AFP/File
The child suffered tongue burns and was taken to the Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) hospital for treatment. — AFP/File

DERA GHAZI KHAN: The Border Military Police (BMP) of Fazala Kachh, Tuman Buzdar have arrested three men who allegedly forced a child to lick hot axe head to prove his innocence in a theft case.

The suspects accused Tehseeb, a shepherd, of stealing a teapot or kettle and the case had been registered against them on the report of victim’s father Jan Muhammad, sources told Dawn. Tehseeb suffered tongue burns and was taken to the Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) hospital for treatment.

Police arrested Siraj, Abdul Raheem and Muhammad Khan.

The tribal Baloch still use the draconian water and fire tradition to prove innocence of someone suspected to be involved in any crime at Takht Sulaiman tehsil. If a suspect remains under water for a specified time and comes out alive, he is considered innocent and if he comes out before time, he stands guilty.

Similarly, a person is considered innocent if he remains unscathed after crossing the burning embers or licking hot iron otherwise, he is penalised for being guilty.

Some tribal people, it is said, settle disputes by resorting to this inhuman practice in the absence of a judicial system.

Sources said a recociliation group comprising notables was expected to settle the matter.

Published in Dawn, August 5th, 2021

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