Nine perish as fire engulfs villages in Dadu
At least eight children and one woman died while more than 20 villagers suffered critical burns when a fire engulfed some 50 homes in Faiz Mohammad Daryani Chandio village, Dadu district, Monday night. Around 150 livestock were also killed in the blaze.
The injured were shifted to various hospitals in Mahar and Larkana, where most of them are stated to be in critical condition.
The villagers also suffered heavy material losses, with nearly 560,000 kilograms of wheat, rice and other grains, three tractors, cash, jewelry and household items being reduced to ash.
According to locals, the fire spread from a kitchen at around 9PM in one house and spread to the rest of the village due to strong winds within minutes. The blaze continued to burn through the night before it died out at nearly 8AM the next morning.
The villagers also claimed that the district administration and town committee had been alerted of the fire immediately, however no firefighters or rescue teams arrived well after the flames died out on their own in the morning.
JIT to inquire into Chaghai incident
Chief Minister of Balochistan Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo announced on Tuesday that a joint investigation team (JIT) has been set up to inquire into the April 15 killing of a truck driver by Frontier Corps (FC) personnel in Dalbandin, Chaghai district, near the Pak-Afghan border.
Speaking in the Balochistan Assembly, CM Bizenjo stated that the JIT will comprise officers from different security agencies, and that it will submit a report following a thorough probe. He added that a judicial commission may be formed if the report was found insufficient.
The Assembly was told that the families of the deceased driver Hameedullah, as well as those people injured by security forces during protests, would be adequately compensated. The injured will also be shifted to a hospital in Karachi for treatment.
Former DCO acquitted in Model Town case
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday acquitted Captain (retired) Muhammad Usman, then district coordination officer (DCO) of Lahore, in a case pertaining to the deaths of at least 14 people in Model Town in 2014.
Usman, now Lahore Commissioner, was accused of attending a meeting in which it was decided to remove the Jersey barriers on the road leading up to the headquarters of the Minhaj-ul-Quran and the residence of Pakistan Awami Party (PAT) chief Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri in Model Town.
In the verdict, ATC-III Presiding Judge Ejaz Ahmad Buttar noted that the fact of the conspiracy and Usman’s attendance in said meeting had been negated and were not accepted by the trial court in its order of Feb 7, 2017. Furthermore, Usman’s presence was neither alleged in the complaint, nor was he mentioned in the testimonies of 19 eyewitnesses.