Pakistan

Layyah toxic sweets: Death toll rises to 34

LAYYAH: Another victim of the Layyah poisonous sweets tragedy died in hospital, taking the total number of fatalities in small Punjab town to 34, ARY News reported on Saturday.

Ten-year old Ayesha passed away during treatment at Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital. It should be noted that 14 others are still being treated at the medical facility.

The incident took place in Layyah district’s town of Karor Lal Essan on April 21 when a man named Umar Hayat distributed sweets on the occasion of the birth of his child. However, happiness quickly turned into a tragedy when the sweets turned out to be poisonous. At least six people passed away on the same day while a number of more died under treatment at hospitals since then.

Police had arrested owners of the sweets shop, Tariq and his brother Khalid and filed a case of attempted murder against them. A worker of the shop named Amir was also arrested.

The law enforcement agencies also raided a sufonyl factory (the poison used in the the sweets) and arrested five workers.

Khalid, the brother of the shop owner during the investigation, said that he did not know what poisonous substance got mixed with the confectioneries.The mystery behind the incident was solved when he confessed later that he had mixed poisonous chemicals intentionally into the sweets.

In his confessional statement to a judicial magistrate, Khalid confessed that he mixed Chlorfenapyr chemical in the sweetmeats over grudge with his elder brother and shop owner Tahir. He said that his brother used to taunt him and physically abuse him. He, therefore, wanted to avenge his brother by causing damage to his business.

The eighteen-year old adulterated the sweetmeats with a pesticide that contained 200 milliliters of the poison chemical. Later, police raided a sunflower field and retrieved the empty bottle of the pesticide buried in the field.

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