ISLAMABAD: In a tragic incident, an eight-month-old child died on his way to the hospital after being stuck in traffic due to a rally by a religious group in Islamabad.
Police have registered an ‘unintentional murder’ case against Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a Lahore based fireband cleric who is leading a rally to the capital on the issue of Khatm-e-Nabuwat, or belief in the finality of the Prophethood.
The cleric’s main demand is that the government identify and punish those responsible for the recent controversy surrounding change of Khatm-e-Nabuwat clause in election laws.
Faizabad intersection, which is the main gateway between Islamabad and Rawalpindi, has been closed since Wednesday afternoon owing to the rally.
Hassan Bilal was being taken by his parents from Jinnah Gardens to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Wednesday evening when the family got stuck in traffic.
After being stuck in traffic for hours the family had to take the child to a nearby private hospital near Khanna Pul.
Soon afterwards, the child died at the private medical facility at 10:20pm with the doctors declaring cardiopulmonary arrest as the cause of his death. “My son died in front of mine and his mother’s eyes,” his father said.
The family immediately went to the Koral Police Station and lodged a complaint against Rizvi and others for blocking the roads. “Khadim Rizvi and his fellows are responsible for the death of my son. If they had not blocked the road, we would have reached the hospital in time and my son’s life could have been saved,” the father maintained in his application to the police.
Police have registered a case under Section 322 (unintentional murder) against Rizvi and others. A police officer said the child had been referred by a local doctor to PIMS but he could not reach the hospital in time due to the road block.
Rizvi’s entry to Islamabad had already been banned by the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration during Muharram as a precautionary measure to maintain peace.
The authorities had warned the cleric against taking out the rally without obtaining an NOC. Not only the organisers have no NOC from the authorities, they are also in open violation of the Islamabad High Court orders that all rallies be held in Parade Ground area only.