MIRPURKHAS: A pall of gloom fell on Mirpurkhas as traders shut their businesses voluntarily to take part in collective funerals when 23 bodies of Tezgam Express inferno victims reached the town on Thursday. Four bodies belonging to the town still remained to be identified through DNA test.
The bodies, which were laid in wooden coffins, arrived in ambulances from Rahim Yar Khan early in the morning and drove to Gama Stadium where high officers of district administration and heirs and relatives of the victims received them.
Deputy Commissioner Syed Attaullah Shah, assistant commissioners, police officers and other officials of the administration supervised and facilitated the process of shifting the bodies to their native areas.
The town’s traders had voluntarily shut their businesses and gathered in the stadium besides a large number of townspeople to express condolence to heirs while special prayers were held for the fire victims during assemblies in private and government schools in the town.
Collective funeral prayers were held amid strict security in a ground adjacent to Satellite Town police station, in Eidgah ground, in another Eidgah ground in Khaar Para, Colony round, Pak Colony ground etc.
Thousands of people including the DC, MPA Syed Zulfikar Ali Shah, former MPA Shabbir Ahmed Kaimkhani, MPAs and office-bearers of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, local leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and PML-N, Pakistan Peoples Party, other political parties and religious organisations and heirs and relatives of the victims attended the funeral prayers. The victims were later laid to rest in different graveyards.
Besides the 23 bodies which had so far been identified through DNA test there were 17 others who sustained injuries in the inferno. Seven of the injured had already been discharged while 10 were still under treatment at different hospitals in Punjab. The relatives had identified the injured and met them and returned after being satisfied with their proper care. At least 18 victims were still missing, some sources claim.
The deputy commissioner said that the remaining missing persons would also be identified with the help of DNA test and then Punjab government would send their bodies after intimating them about it.
Three bodies arrive in Tangwani village
SUKKUR: Three bodies identified as those of Khairan Khatoon Jafferi, her sons Imamuddin and Alamuddin who were also among the Tezgam inferno victims reached their village Hooran Jafferi in Tangwani late on Wednesday night. The bodies were laid to rest in the village graveyard after funeral prayers held on Thursday morning.
The body of Ms Raheela Jafferi, daughter-in-law of Khairan Khatoon, who was also travelling with the family in Tezgam train was still missing. The woman’s relatives demanded authorities concerned extend help in the search for her body.
Two sons of late Khairan Khatoon, Goro Jafferi and Lal Mohammad Jafferi, brothers and their sister-in-law who had escaped death with minor injuries had also reached their village and informed the relatives about the missing family member.
No elected public representative or officer of district and taluka administrations attended the funeral prayers or visited the bereaved family to condole deaths.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2019