Pakistan: Several injured in stampedes as free flour distribution goes awry in Punjab province
Islamabad [Pakistan], March 30, 2023 (ANI): The spike in inflation has left millions of people across Pakistan struggling to even get a meal for one day. In a bid to lift the burden off low-income families, the government started distributing free flour bags but the unorganised distributions led to stampedes, ultimately resulting in deaths and injuries to people, Dawn reported.
In Punjab province's Muzaffargarh, at least seven people were injured on Tuesday after a flour distribution centre collapsed due to the huge rush of people. Among the seven, four were stated to be in critical condition. The poor management by the administration resulted in a stampede, prompting the police to take charge.
Besides the wall collapse incident, there are reports of police personnel using batons on people at a free flour centre, according to Dawn.
In the Jatoiarea, protesting the poor management by the administration at the Point Moon Marriage Hall, people blocked a road, raising slogans against the SHO, Jatoi, for his abusive behaviour towards them at the flour centre.
Meanwhile, in the Okara region, four women were injured and two fell unconscious at the free flour supply point at Depalpur.
A stampede occured due to the heavy rush of people at the centre. Four women fell to the ground and suffered injuries while others ran over them.
The police rescued the injured women lying on the ground. Later, rescuers provided them with first aid.
In total, especially 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. (ANI)