At least 12 people died and five were injured in Karachi’s SITE area during a stampede that occurred at a dyeing factory’s premises during a charity drive for the needy in Ramadan. The incident happened when people gathered at the factory to collect ration. The victims include eight women and three children. This incident is the latest in which people have lost their lives to seek free edibles.
Distribution of Ration During Charity Drive
Every Ramadan, Karachiites hold charity drives to help the needy, and ration distribution is an essential part of the program. Unfortunately, the distribution of ration often results in large crowds gathering in one place, leading to dangerous situations.
Eyewitnesses reported that people were called for Zakat distribution. Some fell into a nullah at the factory, and others were trampled in the stampede. The incident took place because of a stampede, and the local police station was not informed prior to the distribution.
The Chief Minister of Sindh announced compensation for the families of the deceased and those injured in the incident. The Governor of Sindh has sought a report on the incident from the Karachi Commissioner. In addition, the police have arrested seven people, and an investigation has been initiated.
وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ مراد علی شاہ کا سائٹ ایریا میں بھگدڑ مچنے کے واقعہ کا نوٹس، کمشنر سے واقعے کی رپورٹ طلب کرلی
— Sindh Information Department (@sindhinfodepart) March 31, 2023
Stampedes Across Pakistan
This incident is one of many stampedes that have occurred in recent weeks across Pakistan, claiming the lives of at least five people and injuring many others. The stampedes occurred at sites where the distribution of edibles, particularly wheat flour, under the government-backed scheme had been underway to provide support to struggling families amid the country’s deteriorating economic crunch.
Government’s Efforts to Ease the Impact of Inflation
The Pakistani government has launched the flour distribution programme to reach millions of families in need during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, which began last week. Thousands of people have gathered at the centres set up across the country as part of the government’s efforts to ease the impact of inflation, which ran above 30%, a 50-year high. The cost of basic goods has surged even more, with flour prices rising over 45% in the past year.