Police given five days to submit report in family poisoning case

Published April 3, 2019
Six members of a family from Balochistan died while staying at a guesthouse in Saddar allegedly due to gas poisoning. ─ Reuters/File
Six members of a family from Balochistan died while staying at a guesthouse in Saddar allegedly due to gas poisoning. ─ Reuters/File

KARACHI: A court on Tuesday allowed additional time to the investigating officer to submit the final investigation report in a case pertaining to the death of six members of a family allegedly due to gas poisoning in a state guesthouse.

Nadeem Akhtar Shaikh, chief engineer of the Pakistan Public Works Department, Zakir Hussain, an assistant executive engineer, overseer Mehram Ali Brohi, guesthouse controller Sikandar Hayat, contractor Sanobar Khan, caretaker Nisar Awan, room service waiter Sajjad Hussain, receptionist Abdul Hameed, and sweeper Pervaiz Bhatti have been booked on the charges of manslaughter.

Six members of a family, including five children, mysteriously died during their stay at the Qasr-i-Naz guesthouse in Saddar on Feb 22.

On Tuesday, IO Inspector Atiqur Rehman moved an application before judicial magistrate (South) Sibghatullah Sanghar to seek more time for submission of the final report.

The judge allowed him five more days to submit the report and adjourned the hearing.

According to the prosecution, the nine detained suspects worked at Qasr-i-Naz — a federal official residence — where the ill-fated family had stayed after arriving from Pishin, Balochistan. Initially, it was suspected that they had died after consuming poisonous food at a famous restaurant in Saddar.

However, an investigation and post-mortem later revealed that they had died of poisoning from a commercial-grade toxic fumigant — aluminium phosphate — the IO said, adding that the suspects were negligent and used the fumigant in the guesthouse that was used for agricultural purposes.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2019

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