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Saturday June 22, 2024

Karachi factory owner booked after 11 die in ration distribution stampede

FIR states stampede occurred due to negligence of factory administration during ration distribution resulting in casualties

By Web Desk
April 01, 2023
Relatives mourn beside the body of a victim who died in a stampede during a Ramadan alms distribution for people in need, at a hospital in Karachi on March 31, 2023. — AFP
Relatives mourn beside the body of a victim who died in a stampede during a Ramadan alms distribution for people in need, at a hospital in Karachi on March 31, 2023. — AFP

KARACHI: A case was registered on Saturday, against the owner and administration of the factory linked with the stampede during a ration distribution incident in Karachi, during which 11 people including women and children lost their lives.

On Friday, reportedly 11 people died and five were injured amid a rush inside the premises of a factory at the Naurus intersection in Karachi's SITE area.

The case was registered at SITE A police station on behalf of Sub-inspector (SI) Malik Asif Zia under Sections 322 (punishment for unintentional murder), 337H-2 (punishment for hurt by rash or negligent act), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

As per the text of the FIR, the stampede occurred due to negligence of the factory administration during the alms distribution for Zakat, which caused casualties. 

It stated that the women and children were killed in the stampede that occurred as soon as the security guard opened the small gate of the factory to let the crowd in for the collection of rations. It said that factory managers Islam and Jaseem had been distributing cash as Zakat at the factory on behalf of factory owner Abdul Khaliq for several years.

The nominated suspects include Khaliq, the two managers and seven others.

The police said that eight suspects including the factory owner and managers had already been arrested.

Police present arrested suspects before court

Later, the arrested suspects were presented before the court of judicial magistrate (East). During the hearing, the police requested 14-day physical remand of the suspects for interrogation, while the defence lawyer pleaded with the court to release the suspects.

"There is no offence on the suspects' part therefore they should be acquitted," the lawyer said.

The court then reserved the verdict on the police's request, which will be announced shortly.

The incident

The incident occurred while people were gathered at a dyeing factory in the city's industrial area to collect ration — which is part of charity drives that Karachiites hold every Ramadan to help the needy.

Those killed in the incident include eight women and three children, the rescue and police officials had told Geo News.

Six people also fainted during the stampede, rescue sources had said. According to police, a large number of people had gathered at the site where the ration was being distributed.