First stampede took place in Sahiwal, and the second in Rahim Yar Khan
SAHIWAL/RAHIM YAR KHAN: A woman and a man died and several others were injured in stampedes at flour distribution points in different cities on Tuesday while people staged protests against the government for badly handling flour distribution.
The first stampede took place in Sahiwal when a large number of people showed up to get free flour with women also standing in long queues. As the time passed on, the crowd became impatient that caused a stampede with everyone trying to get flour bag.
As a result, one woman was killed while 46 others were injured. The injured were shifted to the DHQ Hospital where one of them is stated to be in a critical condition.
Meanwhile, the Sahiwal deputy commissioner and the district police officer reached the spot. There were also reports of police baton-charge on the flour seekers. When contacted, PRO to DPO Sahiwal Inspector Asif Sarwar denied the allegation of baton-charge.
In Rahim Yar Khan, a 73-year-old man was trampled in a bid to get free flour while several others were injured. Anwar Deen died at the Ayamin Gate.
In Jhang, women staged a protest against the alleged torture on an old woman at a flour disbursement point at the Government Graduate Boys’ College. The women alleged that a discriminatory attitude was being adopted by the staff while disbursing flour bags. They said caretaker Punjab CM Mohsin Naqvi had promised to provide them with flour bags in an honourable way, but the situation at the disbursement centres was otherwise.
In Nankana Sahib, people complained of facing severe problems due to mismanagement at free flour distribution points. They staged a protest at Morkhunda and blocked the Jaranwala-Lahore Road by burning tyres. They said the staff was benefiting favourites while they had to stand in long rows for hours just to get one bag of flour and even then they did not get it. People also demonstrated at Warburtton.