There have been multiple stampede incidents across Pakistan due to the unorganised distribution of free flour, and the latest such incident in Multan left 14 people, including two police personnel, injured at the spot, The News International reported.
In Multan, hundreds of people were involved in a stampede after they gathered to get free flour at a distribution point on Wednesday. The Rescue Control Room received a panic call during the free flour distribution centre near Jamia-ul-Uloom near Madni Chowk, Rescue 1122 officials said.
The Rescue immediately alerted the motorbike staff on the spot and sent more ambulances and motorbikes from the nearby station. They found 12 people and two police personnel injured on the spot. Two of them were found critical, as per The News International.
Earlier, in Punjab province, an old woman and a man died while 56 people, including 45 women, were injured in stampedes at free flour centres in Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh and Okara districts of the province, as the mismanagement in distribution continues since the government announced free disbursement and people started scrambling to distribution points, reported Dawn.
An elderly woman, who came to collect free flour, died in a stampede while 45 women received injuries at a free distribution centre at the Quaid-i-Azam Stadium in the wee hours of Tuesday.
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, according to The News International.
Women in Jhang staged a protest against the alleged torture of 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, according to The News International.
Recently, the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Darband tehsil chapter demanded that flour be made available to people all over the nation at subsidised prices and accused the government of humiliating and demeaning the poor, especially women, at free distribution points.
At a press conference, the JI tehsil emir lamented that women were “disgraced” since they had to spend hours waiting in long queues to get a bag of 10 kg flour, according to The News International.
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