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Driven to desperation by poverty, a rickshaw driver set his vehicle on fire and even tried to immolate himself

KARACHI: Just three days after a rickshaw driver committed self-immolation and later died when he was forced to pay extortion by a traffic cop, another similar case surfaced when a driver of three-wheeler attempted to burn himself due to poverty.

According to details, rickshaw driver, Shahid, set his rickshaw on fire in North Nazimabad area of the city and also attempted to commit self-immolation but was stopped by passers-by.

Citing poverty as the reason, Shahid lamented that he was “unable to get any passengers because the CNG stations are closed every other day”.

He further said that he has been unable “to afford his expenses and has not paid the rent on his house for three months,” adding that his children are suffering from an eye disease.

Police officials arrived at the spot and took him to the police station to record his version.

On Oct 22, a rickshaw driver who had set himself on fire as a protest against the alleged extortion by traffic police succumbed to severe burns.

After being treated for two day at Burns Centre of Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, rickshaw driver named Khalid lost his battle of life.

The family of the rickshaw driver said that Khalid’s death has set an example against the misdeeds of this society and “now the police officer responsible for this tragedy should be taught a strict lesson so that nobody dares to take bribes.”

In his statement being shared on social media, Shahid alleged “ASI Mohammed Hanif have been extracting Rs100 from him daily. I gave the policeman Rs50 on Saturday, but he insisted on Rs100 and on refusal the ASI handed me a challan.”

According to details, the incident took place as a protest against the alleged extortion by the cop, as the rickshaw driver was recorded saying that he was ‘frustrated’ with daily challan and alleged ‘extortion’ by the traffic police.

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