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Tuesday June 25, 2024

Sindh govt forms eight-member committee to probe deaths in Keamari

By Imdad Soomro
May 12, 2023

KARACHI: Following the orders of the Sindh High Court (SHC), the Sindh government on Thursday constituted an eight-member committee to be headed by the Home Department secretary to investigate the multiple deaths that took place in Karachi’s Keamari district in January this year.

The committee comprises a surgeon, concerned superintendent of police (SP) (Investigation), concerned district police surgeon and concerned station house officer (SHO) and is also authorised to incorporate one member for its assistance.

The committee has been directed to convene its meeting soon to deliberate upon the possible causes for Keamari deaths.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) had ordered the provincial government to set up a high-level committee to ascertain the causes for the Keamari incident during the proceedings on the petition filed by citizen Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi.

As per the Sindh health department’s official announcement, some 18 people died in Ali Muhammad Goth of Keamari district due to toxic chemical discharge from two factories located in the residential area between January 1 and January 25, this year. According to the announcement, the victims died within five to seven days after showing symptoms of fever, sore throat, and shortness of breath.

During the previous hearing, the Sindh High Court had asked the police authorities about an unattended and forgotten incident of the 15 deaths that took place in the same Keamari district

in 2020 allegedly by the toxic dust.

During the hearing, the representative of Karachi police said that the cause of death of the 15 people who died in February 2020 was yet to be confirmed. The police told the court that the heirs of the victims of the 2020 incident opposed the post-mortem, due to which the cause of the deaths couldn’t be ascertained in any of the 15 cases.

The report stated that air quality in the area deteriorated due to hazardous raw materials and soybean dust and the report found the air quality to be harmful, with fine particles of soybean dust besides toxic fumes posing a risk to the population.

The police in its report concluded that it was the Karachi Port Trust’s responsibility to implement the environmental laws.