Free flour distribution to begin at 6am as two dead, 45 injured in Sahiwal stampede

SAHIWAL/LAHORE: Two women dead and 45 other persons sustained injuries in a stamped during free flour distribution at centre here on Tuesday.

According to rescuers, 19 injured persons were shifted to DHQ Teaching Hospital Sahiwal for medical assistance. The rescuers informed that the incident took place due to mismanagement and flawed arrangements for free wheat flour distribution to under-privileged persons.

Police and district management officials rushed to the spot after report of the incident. It is pertinent to mention here that free of cost wheat flour being distributed to people under Special Ramzan Package announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Be the first of its kind, the package has been designed to facilitate the poor segment of the society in the holy month of Ramzan.

Earlier last week, an elderly man had died who came to get free flour from a distribution point in Faisalabad. Rescue sources said that Muhammad Kaleem was found unconscious at the Park’s main gate. He was taken to General Hospital Samanabad where he breathed his last.

In another incident elsewhere a woman died during the stampede at free flour distribution point, while scores of others reported injured.

‘Caretaker CM takes notice of deaths’

Meanwhile, Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi took notice of the Sahiwal incident and decided to open free flour distribution centres across Punjab from 6am in the morning.

Chairing a meeting held to review the flour situation, CM Mohsin Naqvi fixed opening time of the free flour distribution centres at 6am. “The ministers, secretaries will perform duties in various districts for three days. They will visit flour distribution centres to monitor the situation,” Mohsin Naqvi said.

“The DPOs and deputy commissioners will also be present at centres in the morning,” he said. The Caretaker CM also directed for deployment of additional police force at flour distribution centres to avoid untoward incidents.

Naqvi expressed resentment over stampede and hustling incidents at flour centres in Sahiwal and other cities of the province. He directed authorities for better management of crowds at Atta centres.

“The people should be guided and advised through public announcements to stand in queues,” caretaker CM said.

The meeting was briefed that around 13.2 million flour sacks have been distributed across Punjab so far. “Today 2.1 million flour sacks have been distributed, which is maximum in a short span of time,” the session informed.



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