KASUR-After the deaths of various people including two students due to the consumption of poisonous foodstuffs, a number of raids were conducted by the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) against the food outlets across the district.

The main reason of the PFA operation was unearthing the eateries’ involvement in serving foodstuff adulterated with hazardous substances. But the grave situation, which made news headlines in the country’s press and forced the people to be more careful about having meal outside home, was deaths of several people due to poisonous food.

The recent incident of the series occurred in village Ali Muhammad, a suburban area of Kasur City, where two minor girl students died and one became critical after eating toxic foodstuff from a stall at a local school. Among the girls, Ayesha, 4, and Nisha were sisters and daughters of Allah Wasaya while Nisha, 5, was their cousin and daughter of Riaz. The girls ate toxic toffees, snacks and fruit chaat from the stall set up by the school watchman Idrees. Their condition deteriorated after eating the foodstuff and they were shifted to Children Hospital Lahore where Ayesha and Fatima breathed their last. Third girl Nisha is being treated at the hospital and her condition is stated to be stable.

The political, social, religious and trade unions of Kasur district expressed their grief over tragic deaths of the minor girls and urged Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to take note of the incident. They also regretted over the indifference of the administration, saying only deaths of people force the officials come out of their offices.

People also expressed grave concerns over growing sale of adulterated and synthetic food and beverages across the province, and inability of the government to take effective measures for combating the menace. They said that those who are playing with precious lives of the people often escape with a small fine or a prison spanning few months. They urged the government to award exemplary punishment to the culprits who intentionally sell adulterated and harmful foods and beverages.

When contacted, the Kasur deputy commissioner said that the school principal Rabia Latif, class teacher Tasmina Ejaz and watchman Idrees have been suspended. She said that a committee, consisting of Govt High School Principal Maqbool Hussain, Rao Khanewala School Senior Headmaster Saleem Shah and Syeda Samina Altaf had also been formed to probe the incident. Moreover, the Raja Jang Police registered a case against the school watchman and a shopkeeper Imran on behalf of Kasur AC Imtiaz Ahmed, she said. She added the police also put them behind bars.