Karachi stampede tragedy: Factory sealed, 9 people including owners handed over to police on physical remand
The stampede occurred when a large number of inflation-hit people gathered at a factory to collect zakat and food.
Police presented nine people including the owner of a Sindh Industrial & Trading Estate (SITE) area factory, where 12 people lost their lives in a stampede during the distribution of free food and alms among the needy, before the court on Saturday.
The police on Saturday produced the nine persons in the court of judicial magistrate (East) seeking their 14-day physical remand.
After reserving the verdict, the court on the police’s request and later handed them over to the police on five-day physical remand.
On the other hand, the local administration has also sealed the factory in Karachi’s SITE area the unfortunate incident happened.
Those killed in the incident include eight women and three children.
Update : At least 12 people diedand several were injured Friday amid a stampede at a factory at the Naurus intersection in Karachi's SITE area, the latest incident in which people lost their lives to seek free food. Those killed in the incident include 8 women and 3 children pic.twitter.com/lqh6iQmlt9— Ghulam Abbas Shah (@ghulamabbasshah) March 31, 2023
A case was registered by the state against factory owner Abdul Khaliq on the allegation of negligence. Mr Khaliq, along with the factory manager and other employees, was taken into custody.
According to the Superintendent of Police (SP) Muhammad Mughees Hashmi, the incident took place as a lot of people gathered at the site and said police were not informed prior to distribution.
SP added that the burst of the water line also compounded the situation raising fears that the number of deaths could increase.
The case was registered at the SITE A police station on behalf of Sub-inspector (SI) Malik Asif Zia under Sections 322 (punishment for unintentional murder), 337H-2 (punishment for hurt by rash or negligent act), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The first information report (FIR) states negligence by factory staff caused a stampede during the distribution of ration that resulted in deaths.
FIR stated that the women and children were killed in the stampede that took place as soon as the security guard opened the small gate of the factory to let the crowd in for the collection of rations.
FIR added that factory managers Islam and Jaseem had been distributing cash as Zakat at the factory on behalf of factory owner Abdul Khaliq for several years.
Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that the factory management did not inform the police or district administration about the distribution of charity.
Memon appealed to philanthropists and non-government organisations to intimate the district administration and police while arranging such activities so that adequate security can be provided.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced Rs500,000 compensation for the legal heirs of each deceased of the SITE stampede on Friday.
CM Sindh also announced Rs100,000 for each injured person.
The CM directed the chief secretary to get details about the deceased and injured immediately for the distribution of compensation among them.
Governor Sindh Kamran Tessori also took notice of the incident and directed Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon to submit a report.