Walking on burning coal to prove innocence.
Walking on burning coal to innocence, There is an ancient tradition in Balochistan which is locally know as “Ass Aff” which mean fire and water/fat.
the past, it merely a tradition started by the Bugti and Marri tribe,
but now it seems to be spreading to the Rind and other Baloch tribes.
When a person is accuse of big crime like larceny, rape, and abduction to murder etc.
one is the eye witness in that case where it became doubtful to be guilty during the jirga,
then he had to go through the fire to prove his innocence.
two-feet deep trench
A 12-feet long, two-feet wide and two-feet deep trench is dug which is filled with 480 kilogrammes of dry wood.
The wood burns for around three to four hours when the embers are fresh after the flames have been extinguished,
during this process the recitation of the Qur’an is done on the fire by the veteran/molvi and this fire is attributed to Allah Almighty so that it would,
supposedly, not harm the innocent and only burn the guilty. Accused have to walk barefoot.
On the other side of the pit filled with embers, his relatives stand with a vessel filled with the blood of a freshly ,
slaughtered goat in which the accuse’s feet are place for a few minutes.
After the walk if there are burn marks on his feet, the man is considered guilty and the jirga decides the further course of action against him.
If his feet are not burnt, he is declared innocent and is delightedly received by friends and relatives.
Before going down in the fire, the people of the whole congregation,
the elders, the relatives, explain to the accused that if he is involved in the crime in any way,
he should not walking on the embers.
Hundreds of people, including the friends and relatives of the accused stand around,
the burning coal when the accused walks on it.
There are stories of thousands of people escaping the process safely.
In which many innocent people pass through this burning fire with complete ease, then a big problem is solved in a matter of moments and the opponents,
instead of spreading war and strife, become grateful to each other and go home.
The ritual of “Ass Aff” is more popular among the Bugti, Khetran and Marri tribes. This is not a coercive act, but is done with passion and satisfaction to prove one’s innocence and to serve.
The truth is that the locals get cheap and quick justice through Ass Aff. They get rid of court fees and lawyers’ fees.
No one in the area objects to this practice because it provides speedy justice and is acceptable to everyone. You know the real condition of the courts. Who can afford to go there to waste money and time and get nothing in return
This practice is becoming urbanised.
If the state does not ensure the provision of justice to its citizens,
then I am afraid this practice would soon gain acceptance in more tribes of Balochistan.
That’s how it’s done in BALOCHISTAN.