A 2-month-old baby girl was placed under emergency oxygen therapy after a teargas canister launched by police officers during a curfew enforcement operation in Huruma area on Friday night, May 22, landed next to her crib.
The News was first shared on Twitter after the family was denied the OB number to record the case with the police.
UPDATE: OB number has been issued: OB 58/23/05 2020 #JusticeForBabyAsnat
— #InsecurityKE (@InsecurityKE) May 23, 2020
The baby’s father, who identified himself as Shamsu, narrated the scary ordeal, further detailing his daughter’s current medical condition.
“I had just broken my fast and decided to lie down for a while. At around 7:45 p.m., I was jolted by a scream from my wife and I immediately knew something terrible had happened. When I got to the living room, I found my wife wailing while holding our daughter, the room was filled with choking smoke from a teargas canister that had made it into our house through the balcony,” he revealed.
“With help from some of my neighbours, we rushed her to a nearby clinic where she was immediately placed under oxygen therapy,” he further detailed.
One of the social justice leaders from Mathare, Mama Rahma, spoke to Kenyan Bulletin and explained the events that led up to the shocking incident, as well as how police at Huruma Police Station had tried to frustrate their efforts to get record a statement on Saturday, May 23.
“On Friday, the police were patrolling the area to ensure that people adhered to the dusk-to-dawn curfew, however, when they got to the area, they found several young men still lounging outside. It was at this point that they immediately started launching teargas canisters but for some unknown reason, they kept firing them towards the sky. One of them got through the balcony of the 2nd floor of the building where Shamsu and his young family reside,” she detailed.
Mama Rahma was part of the team that not only rushed the baby to a nearby clinic for emergency treatment but also trooped to Huruma Police Station to report the matter.
“We got to the station at around 10 a.m. and all our efforts to report the case were frustrated, however, I mobilised a few members of the community and we pitched camp at the station until around 3 p.m. when we finally got to record our statements and got an Occurrence Book (OB) number [OB 58/23/05 2020],” she stated.
She further revealed that she took a photo of the spent canister to the station as opposed to the actual canister just to be safe from any potential tampering.
“The police officer who took my statement confirmed that it was a government-issued canister and asked that the parents come in on Tuesday, May 26, to record their statement and have the spent canister forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP),” Mama Rahma narrated.
The 2-month-old baby girl is still recuperating from the effects of the gas, with the father revealing that despite sleeping soundly through the night, some light blood keeps coming out through her nose.
“We have asked him to let us take her to her government facility for a thorough check-up but he is afraid that she may be quarantined as a suspected COVID-19 case,” the social justice worker explained.