July 21, 2020

By Haider Kaleem


It has been a year since 12 year old Ahmed was electrocuted to death by high voltage live wires. Ahmed was a resident of Al-Mustafa Town in the low income working class area of Chungi Amar Sadhu.

After the child’s death, his parents and community people have tried countless times to reach out to the relevant authorities, and the corridors of power to request for ensuring the safety of the other children who live there. But after not being heard for a year, they finally took to the streets and began a demonstration on main Ferozepur Road.

Talking to Voicepk.net, the protesting citizens shared their grievances and blamed the PTI leader elected for assembly from their constituency, Malik Asad Ali Khokhar for not fulfilling his promise to resolve the issue of live wires hanging loose near almost every house.

Residents said that the high voltage exposed wires have not only killed Ahmed but many others over the past years but nobody has taken any action over the deadly situation.

An activist of the Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement, Murtaza Bajwa said the President of PTI Punjab, MNA Ejaz Ahmed Chaudary also protested with them at the same spot when the incident occurred and vowed to get the issue resolved by the government on urgent basis but nothing happened.

Former councilor, Azra Parveen responded by saying that the public must also take care on their part and must unplug all the appliances whenever it rains otherwise at least one person from the family may be prone to an accident due to an electric current.

Ahmed’s parents are still not over what happened to their child and now they want the wires to be covered so that no one’s child has to go through the kind of pain that they have seen their son go through. Their son died in complete pain leaving them bereft of one child, and under a debt of more than Rs500,000. They have had to spent large amounts of money on the treatment of their younger daughters Zunair and Sumaira who also got badly burnt in the same incident.

“His father kept asking him to go school that day but Ahmed did not want to go and went on the rooftop to play; then we heard blasts and found his electrocuted body,” wept Ahmed’s mother Irshad Bibi. “The wiring of our house, the motor, everything burned due to the short circuit and we got it fixed but I will never be able to get my only son back. My younger daughter, Sumaira who was upstairs with Ahmed started pulling her brother so that he did not fall in the adjacent plot but she also got electrocuted and got burnt badly. But my son’s hands, including his fingers, nails and feet were burnt to ashes. When I picked him up at the hospital, his whole skin began falling off and the bones came out.”

Ahmed’s father Mohammad Hanif said that Ahmed was so badly burnt that when the doctors received him at the hospital and said that he cannot be saved but he still stayed at the Jinnah hospital for a few days.

When local police official Muhammad Abbas who was present at the protest was asked if any action would be taken over negligence by those responsible, he responded by saying that the local LESCO officials were not present in their office at the moment.

On the same day the MPA Malik Asad Ali Khokhar’s resignation had been sought from the provincial cabinet over an alleged abuse of power hence he was not present in his office nor was he speaking to the media even when Voicepk.net reached out to him.

Meanwhile, if anything has remained the same, it has been the lives of the residents of Chungi Amar Sadhu, an underdeveloped and neglected area. The people here still await for justice, and continue to wait for the administration’s attention to their problems, especially as monsoons are sure to make thngs worse.