Wednesday December 07, 2022

Man burns son to death for not focusing on his studies

September 20, 2022

The disconnection between people and institutions as well as between different institutions can be gauged by the fact that a 12-year-old boy was set on fire by his father, and the boy succumbed to his injuries at a hospital two days later, but it took two more days for the police to find out about the shocking incident.

The father had doused his son with kerosene and set him on fire at their Orangi Town home because the child had apparently failed to provide a satisfactory response to a question regarding his studies. He said he was unhappy with his son’s lack of interest in studies.

The incident had occurred in the jurisdiction of the Iqbal Market police station on September 14. The boy, identified as 12-year-old Shaheer, was taken to the burns ward of the Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK).

The boy succumbed to his injuries two days later. He had suffered 70 per cent burn injuries. He was buried the same day he died. “The tragic incident occurred on September 14, while the boy died on September 16, but the incident was brought to our notice on September 18,” Iqbal Market SHO Salim Khan told The News. “Interestingly, the boy was admitted to the CHK’s burns ward, but no one informed the police.”

Police have arrested the victim’s father, Nazir Khan, and registered a case against him on the complaint of the victim’s mother. “No one from the hospital, or the family, relatives or neighbours informed the police,” said SHO Khan. “The incident was brought to our notice by a source.”

Police said that since the case was registered on the complaint of the victim’s mother, police would also include the victim’s brother in the investigation for witnessing the incident. The SHO said police had not found anyone home when they received information of the incident, adding that police traced the victim’s mother who was staying at her mother’s house.

“The victim’s mother was afraid of her husband after the incident, so she hadn’t filed a complaint,” explained the officer. “But we assured her of our full cooperation, so she agreed to talk about the incident.”

She had found her son burning when she heard him screaming and trying to put out the fire. She said she had two sons, adding that the victim was more interested in flying kites than his studies.

“Nazir got angry when Shaheer asked his permission to go outside to fly a kite,” she narrated. “Suddenly, Nazir doused him with kerosene and lit a match to set him on fire.” Soon after the incident, the father, along with his wife and the other son, put out the fire with the help of a blanket, then wrapped it around the minor before taking him to the hospital.

After the mother recorded her statement, police traced the father and arrested him near his home in Orangi Town. While the father admitted to the crime, he said he did not want to burn his son, adding that he only lit the match to scare him.

“I myself am an educated person. I used to give tuition. But I’m currently without work,” said Nazir. “I had no idea this would happen. I was only trying to scare my son. But the fire caught him.”