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Punjab govt bans use of ‘Kala Pathar’ to stop suicides

LAHORE: The government of Punjab has banned use of Kala Pathar (black stone) that is being consumed by people to commit suicide.

According to reports, most of such suicides took place in southern Punjab where Kala Pathar (known with its generic name paraphenylenediamine) can be purchased at around Rs10. It is reported that at least three people a day are consuming it to commit suicide.

The provincial government took notice of media reports 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 the 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 a private news channel.

Kala Pathar is locally used for hair dye. But, it caused death to 60 people mostly women within 15 months.

“Patients consuming Kala Pathar are coming to us in large number. In 2017, we received 156 patients. Of them, 52 have died,” said Dr Abrar Khosa, in-charge ICU of Ghazi Khan Medical College.

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