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Multan tragedy an accident

Updated October 17, 2014


.—AFP file photo
.—AFP file photo

LAHORE: A three-member inquiry committee regarding the Multan tragedy on Thursday submitted its report to the Punjab government, declaring it an accident without any element of subversion.

An announcement to this effect was made by the provincial government and sources said unlike the earlier impression in the media, the committee did not hold PTI responsible for the mishap.

Also read: Imran Khan calls for judicial probe into Multan stampede

Eight people were killed and many others were injured during a stampede on the conclusion of a PTI rally addressed by its chairman Imran Khan in Multan’s Qasim Bagh Stadium on Oct 10.

Inquiry report submitted to Punjab govt

A handout said the gate at which the incident took place was open and there were also proper lighting arrangements.

According to the report, there were a large number of people inside and outside the gate and in the video of the incident, police and Rescue-1122 were also present on the spot.

ASI Muhammad Anwar informed Shah Mahmood Qureshi who was on the stage about the stampede who told Ijaz Chaudhry and Imran Khan. Upon receiving this information, Imran stopped his speech and asked the people to comeback from the said gate.

Meanwhile, according to the video report, more vehicles of Rescue-1122 reached the spot and used water cannon for controlling the stampede and pushing back the people. As a result of this, the crowd retreated and the pressure on the gate was reduced.

According to the video report, the gate was closed for relief activities and the injured persons were provided first aid on the spot. The available video also verified these facts.

The inquiry committee stated it was an accident and there was no element of subversion. The gates of the venue were open and there were proper lighting arrangements. The spray of water by Rescue-1122 proved very useful and a number of human lives were saved while the crowd was dispersed.

According to the report, the selection of the venue for the public meeting was improper in view of the large crowd.

Moreover, the management of Tehreek-i-Insaf did not fully implement the clauses of the agreement made with the district administration.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2014