In the wake of Toba Tek Singh tragedy, Federal Minister for Human Rights Kamran Michael has directed a though inquiry into the incident. On Christmas Eve, at least 150 people were affected by consuming toxic liquor which the police said was aftershave lotion instead of liquor. Death toll from the tragedy had reached more than 40 while dozens others in critical condition are still receiving treatment.
In an official letter dated December 29, Federal Minister for Kamran Michael has directed National Commission for Human Rights to carry out thorough investigations into the incident. The content of the letter is as below:
Subject: The Tragic Incident of Consuming Toxic Liquor On The Eve Of Christmas In Toba Tek Singh
I am directed to refer to the subject noted above and to say that the Honorable Minister for Human Rights has taken serious notice of the tragic incident of consuming toxic liquor on the eve of Christmas in Toba Tek Singh on 27th December, 2016. As per media reports, at least 42 people were killed, however, many affectees are still in critical condition after consuming the toxic liquor in the Mubarakabad Basti, Toba Tek Singh. The Honorable Minister, has therefore desired that a fact finding inquiry may be conducted by the National Commission for Human Rights, and a detailed report may be furnished, on priority basis.
In view of the above, the National Commission for Human Rights is requested to conduct the fact finding inquiry in to the incident and furnish a report, to this Ministry for information of the Honorable Minister, at the earliest, please.
National Commission for Human Rights,
DPO Toba Tek Singh, Usman Akram Gondal while addressing a press conference, said that the tragedy had unfolded because the victims had consumed aftershave lotion instead of liquor. He further briefed the media about the raids being carried out in this connection. He said that police is making all out efforts in order to hook the perpetrators, revealing further that the prime suspect in this case, namely Sawan Masih is among five suspects who have already been arrested. At this occasion, the detainees were presented before the media.
In this connection, several witnesses who are residents of Mubarakabad Basti, the affected neighborhood said that Sawan Masih, who worked as a sweeper at the Chuttiana police station, had sold the liquor to Sajjad Masih, a sanitary worker at district police lines. PML-N MNA Khalid Javed Warraich has urged for strict action against the suspects.
DPO Usman Akram Gondal said that the prime suspect Sawan Masih and Iqbal Rakka Masih, Sajjad Masih and Adeel Mani Masih took 20-liter chemical can to Mubarakabad on the Christmas day. He further revealed that the chemical was used as aftershave lotion which was later sold to the people after being mixed with other poisonous chemicals or water.
Police has detained shop owners, namely M Shahid, his brother M Qasim and their salesman M Ashfaq, for selling toxic chemical. DPO further stated that Iqbal Rakka Masih and Kamran Masih had already died due to consumption of toxic liquor while another accused Adeel Mani Masih is currently under treatment at Allied Hospital in Faisalabad.