SAHIWAL/RAHIM YAR KHAN: A woman and a man died, and several others were injured, in stampedes at flour distribution points across the country on Tuesday, as people protested the government’s handling of flour distribution.
The first stampede occurred in Sahiwal, when a large crowd gathered to get free flour, with women also waiting in long lines. As time passed, the crowd grew impatient, resulting in a stampede as everyone attempted to obtain the flour bag.
As a result of the incident, one woman died and 46 others were injured. The injured were transported to the DHQ Hospital, where one is said to be in critical condition.
Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner of Sahiwal and the district police officer arrived on the scene. There were also reports of police using batons on flour seekers. When contacted, PRO to DPO Sahiwal Inspector Asif Sarwar denied the baton-charge allegation.
A 73-year-old man was trampled in Rahim Yar Khan while trying to get free flour, and several others were injured. Anwar Deen passed away at the Ayamin Gate.
Women protested the alleged torture of an elderly woman at a flour disbursement point at the Government Graduate Boys’ College in Jhang. The women claimed that the staff displayed a discriminatory attitude when distributing flour bags.
People in Nankana Sahib complained about severe problems caused by mismanagement at free flour distribution points. They staged a protest in Morkhunda and burned tires to block the Jaranwala-Lahore Road. They claimed that the staff favored favorites while they waited in long lines for hours for a single bag of flour, which they did not receive. People also protested in Warburtton.