The government of Punjab has banned the use of Kala Pathar that is being consumed to commit suicide after Samaa brought the issue to light.
Most such suicides took place in southern Punjab where Kala Pathar i.e. paraphenylenediamine can be purchased at Rs10.
On daily basis, at least three people are drinking this poison to take their lives. The provincial government took notice of Samaa report and imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1898 against sale and use of Kala Pathar, for two months.
“Viewing gravity of the situation, we requested Punjab government and Home Department for ban on its sale. That is why, Section-144 has been imposed,” said Muhammad Ibrahim Junaid, deputy commissioner DG Khan while talking to Samaa.
Kala Pathar is locally used for hair dye. But, it caused death to 60 people mostly women within 15 months.
“Patients of Kala Pathar are coming to us in large number. In 2017, we received 156 patients. Of them, 52 have already died,” said Dr Abrar Khosa, in-charge ICU of Ghazi Khan Medical College.
“At least 27 patients were brought to the hospital in the first three months this year so far; of them, six have already died.”
People do not take their patients to hospitals in order to evade legal proceedings, said doctors.
Story first published: 9th April 2018