Outrage in Pakistan surrounded the arrest of a nine-month-old boy charged with attempted murder by police after the child's family members faced claims of an attack on local police. Why the child was included in charges against the family remained unknown.
The child was booked in Lahore in connection with accusations his family threw bricks at police trying to collect on an unpaid bill Feb. 1
, according to CNN
. Pakistan officials told the cable network that several officers were severely injured in the attack.
The child appeared in court last Wednesday with his grandfather holding him and was booked with other family members, but it was unclear why.
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The boy's father told the Times of India that the charges against him, his son and 25 others connected in the case are false.
"Our crime is that we had protested against non-availability of electricity in our locality," he said.
The boy's grandfather Muhammad Yasin told Agence France-Presse
that the police believed his family was collaborating with a rival party and that led to them coming on their land.
"The police and gas company officials came without any notice and started removing gas meters from houses," Yasin told AFP. "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."
The child is slated to return to court April 12. Pakistan defense attorney Chaudhry Irfan Sadiq told Agence-France Presse the charges should have been dropped immediately since 12 is generally the minimum age for criminal responsibility in Pakistan.
"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," Sadiq told AFP. "This case also exposes the incompetence of our police force and the way they are operating."
Senior police superintendent Rana Jabbar said, according to the Times of India, said that there was misunderstanding in booking the child and he has suspended sub-inspector Kashif Ahmed for filing charges against the toddler.
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