Karachi stampede tragedy - families pine for the departed

Karachi stampede tragedy - families pine for the departed


CM, Governor takes notices, police arrest three including factory owner

KARACHI (Dunya News) – Police claim to have arrested some people including the owner of a Sindh Industrial & Trading Estate (SITE) area factory where 12 people lost their lives in a stampede during distribution of free food and alms among the needy. 

The families of the deceased are crying out for justice and blame the factory administration for mismanagement which led to the tragedy. Police also claim that they were not informed before arranging the alms-giving activity.   

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah earlier announced Rs500,000 compensation for legal heirs of each deceased of the stampede. He also announced Rs100,000 for each injured person.  

As many as 12 people, three children among them, were killed in the stampede on Friday evening just before Iftar. Rescue personnel said eight women were killed and several others fell unconscious when the crowd swelled at the designated point for dole-outs. They said the injured were taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Three children and one man also lost their lives, they added.

The Keamari SSP said a police contingent dashed to the spot to control the situation. The factory administration called out police as the crowd went uncontrollable at the time of distribution of dole-outs. 

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A case was registered by the state against factory owner Abdul Khaliq on the allegation of negligence. Mr Khaliq, along with the factory manager and other employees, was taken into custody. 

This is the latest of several incidents of mismanagement and uproar at a dole-out point. Some of the incidents have claimed lives in parts of Punjab in the last few days. 

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Superintendent of Police (SP) Muhammad Mughees Hashmi said the incident took place as a lot of people gathered at the site and said police were not informed prior to distribution. He added that the burst of the water line also compounded the situation raising fears that the number of deaths could increase.

On the other hand, seven people were arrested and an investigation had been launched against them. Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani confirmed the arrests.

Governor Kamran Tessori took notice of the incident and directed Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon to submit a report. 

The HRCP raised serious concerns over several incidents of stampede at government and private relief centres. The commission demanded substantial improvements by the government in the prevailing unsafe system of alms distribution. 

PTI senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry wrote on Twitter, “It is the practical depiction of the state of Pakistan’s economy. We regret that rulers are only interested in inflicting cruelty and barbarism on people for the sake of their power”.