NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: A sanitary worker, Naeem Sheikh, sustained 20 per cent burns when he attempted to commit self-immolation in Tharo Shah town on Tuesday reportedly over denial of his four months’ wages. Several of his co-workers overpowered him and rushed him to a local hospital. One of them also received burns in the rescue bid.

A group of sanitary workers belonging to the Tharo Shah town committee held a demonstration at the institution’s assembly hall to raise their voice against non-payment of salaries for the last four months despite repeated protests. While they were raising slogans, Mr Sheikh took out a bottle containing petrol, sprinkled it over his body and showed it a flame so quickly that nobody around had a chance to stop him.

His colleagues rushed to his rescue and one of them, Shakeel Sheikh, also received burns. Both victims were taken and admitted to the Naushahro Feroze Civil Hospital, where doctors said Naeem had sustained 20 per cent and Shakeel lesser burns.

Tharo Shah town committee chairman Ali Almani visited them at the hospital, where he told local reporters that salaries to the workers could not be disbursed as the Bhiria City accounts, through which funds were released to the committee, were temporarily frozen by the authorities concerned for certain reasons. He however assured the workers that he was going to talk to the Bhiria City chairman Ameer Ali Shah, who later released two months’ salary of sanitary workers.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2017