BAHAWALNAGAR: A minor girl died after she slipped into Sadiqia Canal while washing clothes and two of her sisters were feared drowned who jumped into the canal to rescue her in Bhairwala village of border area.

Three minor sisters identified as Sidra (12), Rani (9) and Zareena (7), daughters of Muhammad Munawar of Bhairwala village were washing clothes at the bank of Sadiqia Canal on Monday afternoon. Sidra slipped and fell into the deep water of the canal.

To rescue their sister, Rani and Zareena jumped into the canal and both were swept away by the rushing water.

Some passers-by jumped into the canal and recovered the body of Sidra. In the meanwhile, rescuers were informed and they started an operation to recover the other two girls. Search was going on for the missing sisters till the filling of this report at 6:30pm.

Locals, including Syed Asim Raza, Jawwad, Khalid, Murtaza and several others told Dawn that it was not the first incident of its kind, adding that earlier a number of women of the border area had drowned in the canal during bathing and washing clothes.

They said several villages of the border area including Bhairwala were deprived of basic facilities of health and sanitation and due to the brackish groundwater, the villagers had been forced to use the canal water for washing and drinking purposes for years.

They said despite lodging several complaints and registering protests, the authorities seemed indifferent to the issue and no one was ready to provide basic needs to the thousands of residents of border area villages.

traders protest: Minchinabad traders registered their protest against local police for the second consecutive day on Monday, accusing them of forcefully entering the house of a trader without a search warrant, trying to kidnap his son, thrashing other family members after the trader’s son refused to return the betting money he won from a police tout.

The protesters said ASI Rao Farhat along with cops and razakars (whose entry has been banned at police stations across Punjab) stormed the house of Muhammad Imtiaz in the guise of a search operation launched in the city in connection with the growing robbery incidents.

The team started slapping trader’s son Bilal and misbehaved with women. The team tried to kidnap Bilal but could not as area people gathered there.

DPO’s spokesperson Adnan Ali claimed that police had raided the trader’s house to arrest a wanted criminal involved in a recent robbery. However, he did not mention the name of the wanted man or any case registered against him.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2022

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