Pakistani child forced to lick burning axe over suspicion of stealing teapot


A Pakistani child was forced to lick a burning axe after he was suspected to have stolen a teapot.

Pakistan child burning axe

The Pakistani child shepherd suffered burns on his tongue. (Representative image)

A child was forced to lick a smouldering axe in Pakistan to prove his innocence over suspicion of theft. Three men have been arrested by the border police, said local media reports.

According to The Dawn, the suspects made the child shepherd lick a hot axe following an archaic local tradition to prove innocence in case of theft or crime. The tribal Baloch use the water and fire tradition for the trial of suspects.

The child was suspected to have stolen a teapot when the accused caught hold of him and made him lick a burning axe. Following the ritual, the young boy suffered burns on his tongue, complained his father.

While he was taken to a local hospital for treatment, the three accused were later arrested by the police.

According to the draconian ritual, if a suspect remains unhurt despite licking a burning axe, he is considered innocent. However, if the person suffers burns, he is held guilty in the trial.

The local tribes say in the absence of a judicial system in these remote areas, they have to rely on such rituals, including the fire and water trial methods, reported The Dawn.

Pakistan has witnessed a rise in crimes against children including child sexual abuse, abduction and child marriages. Eight children were abused every day in the country in one form or another in 2020, according to the ‘Cruel numbers 2020’, a compilation of statistics on crimes against children.

The report was compiled by Sahil, an organisation focused on child protection, is based on cases reported in 84 national and regional newspapers in 2020, The Dawn reported.

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