Farmer injured in tear gas shelling dies at Lahore hospital

Published November 6, 2020
One of the protesting farmers injured in the tear gas shelling two days ago, breathed his last at a city hospital. — Reuters/File
One of the protesting farmers injured in the tear gas shelling two days ago, breathed his last at a city hospital. — Reuters/File

LAHORE: One of the protesting farmers injured in the tear gas shelling two days ago, breathed his last at a city hospital on Thursday.

Malik Ashfaq Langrial was Vehari district finance secretary of the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (Anwar group) and had fallen ill after the protesting farmers’ clash with police at Thokar Niaz Beg late on Tuesday night.

The police had used water cannon and fired tear gas shells to disperse farmers from various Punjab districts who had assembled at the southern entrance to the city (Multan Road) and partially blocked it to traffic.

The farmer leader was shifted to Jinnah Hospital emergency ward on Thursday noon when his condition worsened where he breathed his last after around three hours.

Jinnah MS says PKI member was treated for cardiac problem

Jinnah Medical Superintendent Dr Yahya Sultan says Langrial was treated for cardiac problem but he could not survive, while PKI President Chaudhry Anwar alleges that Langrial had fallen to the ground due to water pressure of the water cannon, while his condition deteriorated for inhaling the tear gas used by the police.

“The tear gas shelling and showering of chemical mixed (contaminated) water claimed the life of the Kissan Ittehad activist.”

Heirs of Langrial refused to get a post mortem examination of the body and took it away for burial.

Expressing his grief at the loss of life, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, who had held parleys to convince the farmers to postpone their protest, says he has ordered forming a medical board to ascertain the cause of death.

Meanwhile, various farmer bodies and political parties have expressed their grief at the death of Ashfaq and condemned the government for use of torture to disperse the peaceful protesters.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif said in a statement Malik Ashfaq was martyred by “the torture of flour and sugar thief government and the Selected government is responsible for the murder”.

She said the incident gave the masses the message that those who would demand their rights would be killed as lady health workers, doctors, government employees and media men all were being meted out the same treatment.

She demanded that the “killers” of Malik Ashfaq be brought to book.

Punjab PPP General Secretary Chaudhry Manzoor, who reached the hospital on receiving reports of the death and met heirs of the deceased, has held both the premier and the chief minister responsible for the death and demanded registration of a murder case against them.

He also demanded that the government disclose how many more injured farmers were admitted to hospitals.

Expressing its grief at the incident, the Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee alleged that chemical-mixed water was used to disperse the farmers protesting for their basic rights. It demanded registration of a murder case against those who ordered the baton charge and use of chemical-mixed water on the protesters.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...
Saudi investment
Updated 10 Apr, 2024

Saudi investment

The state has to address barriers that stand in the way of attracting foreign investment, and create a pro-business environment.
Charity for change
Updated 11 Apr, 2024

Charity for change

PAKISTANIS are large-hearted people who empty their pockets at the slightest hint of another’s need. The Stanford...