TOBA TEK SINGH: Five persons, including a woman, were injured when a scuffle broke out at the free wheat flour distribution centre in Shorkot while the people blocked a road in protest against non-availability of flour in Muzaffargarh on Saturday.

On the other hand, Punjab Caretaker Information Minister Aamir Mir has termed the reports of deaths during the flour distribution mere propaganda of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). He said the claim of death of dozens of people during the distribution of flour was nothing but mischief but added that the lives of three valuable people were unfortunately lost due to the rush and an inquiry was going on into the matter.

In Shorkot, there was a heavy rush of free flour seekers located at the Government Elementary School in Shorkot Cantt. The scuffle occurred between policemen and the people, leading to a stampede-like situation.

As a result, five persons received injuries. They were given first aid at Shorkot Rafiqui Welfare Hospital. A man received stitches on his foot that was cut during the disorder.

Minister rubbishes reports of deaths, terms them PTI’s propaganda

The eyewitnesses said a similar situation had occurred at the same centre two days back when the people had attempted to open the gate of school forcibly to enter the distribution centre and some people were also wounded.

According to an official handout, the Punjab information minister rejected, what he termed, the PTI’s false propaganda about the free flour scheme.

“PTI leaders have told lies to mislead the people,” Aamir Mir said in the statement, adding more than two-and-a-half crore people had so far benefited from the free flour scheme, which was going on successfully. He said only two complaints had been received from the entire Punjab about the flour quality.

Similarly, the minister went on to say, the allegation of using teargas against the people during flour distribution was just a joke. He said the PTI should not damage public service projects for its politics, adding it would be better if the caretaker government was not dragged into politics.

A press release issued by the administration in Faisalabad rejected the media reports of a woman’s death at a distribution centre in Jaranwala two days back.

It said the woman identified as Majeedan Bibi, the wife of Akbar Ali, had died after returning from the flour distribution centre. It said during the inquiry, woman’s son Ali Raza said when his mother returned home with flour bags, she complained about pain in her chest. She was being shifted to hospital but she expired on the way.

MUZAFFARGARH: The people blocked a road for hours in the Jatoi area in protest against the non-availability of flour, alleging that some agents of the officials were charging Rs200 per bag at the flour point.

The protest continued until the flour was received by the protesters. AC Nasir Shahzad Dogar arrested a person at the free flour centre at Faisal Stadium with more than a dozen computerised national identity cards.

SAHIWAL: Around 13,69,983 flour bags had been distributed among the people in the Sahiwal division.

A press release said 4,57,505, 5,32,049 and 3,80,429 flour bags had been distributed in the districts of Sahiwal, Okara and Pakpattan, respectively.

Commissioner Shoaib Iqbal said 37 distribution centres with 679 booths were set up across the division. Besides, 15 truck points were also operating in the rural localities of the division.

KHANEWAL: The Khanewal district administration restarted providing free flour to the citizens again after two days of vacation.

The supply of free flour to the citizens continued in an organised manner throughout the district.

Deputy Commissioner Wasim Hamid Sindhu and District Police Officer Rana Umar Farooq reviewed the supply of flour at the centres.

DC Sindhu distributed free flour to disabled persons and women at Shabbir Stadium and directed all the officers of the district administration to remain in the field daily from 6am to carry out the task.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2023



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