25 poisoned to death; cook arrested


A cook has been arrested for his alleged involvement in poisoning 25 people, including children and women, to death in the outhouse of an MPA.

The DSP of Mailsi, a town in the district of Vehari, said police had registered an FIR against Rafiq, the cook, and Arsal Khan, son of a landlord, under sections 302 and 337-J of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the FIR, Rafiq confessed to having committed the crime during interrogation and alleged that rivals of MPA Jahanzaib Khichi had offered him Rs100,000 for preparing poisoned bread for some workers and their families.

The FIR quoted the cook as saying that he had received Rs50,000 in advance and poison from Arsal and prepared the bread in the outhouse of the MPA belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Fada.

Police obtained on Wednesday five-day remand of the cook from a court for further interrogation.

Arsal Khan, a former union council nazim, is at large. Police are looking for him and have detained his father Afzal Khan for interrogation.

According to EDO health Dr Rahmat Ali, the autopsy of the body of a victim has confirmed that the death was caused by poisoning.

The investigation team has confirmed 25 poisoning deaths.

This incident took place on June 8 and the labourers and members of their families fell ill after eating the bread and died between June 10 and 23.

The deceased included four-year-old Bushra, Shahid Riaz, 8, Mudassar, 5, Ali Sher, 8, Zahid, 4, Rabia, 8, Haji Mohammad, 3, Mehnaz, 6, Fida Hussain, 25, Shaban, 16, Allah Ditta, 18, Mohammad Ejaz, 18, Rukhsana, 30, Waryam, 65, Mohammad Irfan, 18, Tariq Aziz, 14, Nawaz Elyas, 40, Ghulam Ali, 45, Hafiz Mohammad Tariq, 17, Sana Mai, 45, Allah Baksh, 13, Farzana Mai, 25, Mohammad Hussain, Manzoor Ahmad and Malik Ghulam Ali.

Relatives of the children and others who died are keeping quiet, not willing to say anything about the incident.

The DPO of Vehari, Sadiq Ali Dogar, said Arsal would be arrested soon and all others involved in the crime would be brought to book.