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Little boy in Pakistan forced to lick hot iron to prove innocence in theft case

Representational image. In a barbaric act, a small boy was forced to lick a hot axe to prove his innocence

Three men have been arrested in Pakistan for forcing a child to lick a hot axe head to prove his innocence in a theft case, according to a report in the country’s leading English daily Dawn.

The suspects accused Tehseeb, a shepherd boy, of stealing a kettle. The child has suffered severe tongue burns and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Police arrested Siraj, Abdul Raheem and Muhammad Khan for  the crime and case has been registered against them on the report of the victim’s father Jan Muhammad, sources told Dawn.

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, the Dawn report explained.

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 reconciliation group comprising notables was expected to settle the matter, according to the Dawn report.