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Stray dog attacks increasing in southern Punjab

Hamza seeks report regarding death of minor boy who was attacked by stray dogs in Lodhran

A minor boy was killed on Friday by stray dogs at village No.100-M Basti Khopian near District Headquarters Hospital Lodhran.

Following media reports, Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz Sharif took notice and ordered an inquiry into the incident. The Lodhran District Council chief officer was suspended by Deputy Commissioner Captain (r) Shoaib Ali on Saturday.

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According to details, deceased Haseab Ali, 2.5 years, the son of Dilshad, at midday was going alone to the nearby house of his auntie. As he came out of his house, a pack of stray dogs attacked him causing him serious injuries on his body, due to which the minor boy died. At this, there was fear and panic in the area and his parents were shocked and stunned over his death. The locals protested over the negligence of the government officials to let loose the stray dogs.

The Punjab chief minister, while issuing orders of inquiry, had called for a report from the Lodhran deputy commissioner and Multan divisional commissioner, whose additional charge was presently being held by South Punjab Additional Chief Secretary Captain (r) Saqib Zafar.

According to sources, the South Punjab additional chief secretary in his report to Punjab chief minister held that the dog-bite incident took place due to the alleged negligence of the officials of the district council, who failed to launch a drive in the area to quell the stray dogs.

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Lodhran Deputy Commissioner Shoaib Ali conducted a probe into the killing of the child.

According to an official statement, during an inquiry, District Council Chief Officer Malik Muhammad Saeed was held responsible for this and as such he was suspended for his alleged negligence by the deputy commissioner on Saturday. According to an official handout, the Lodhran DC had ordered to launch an anti-stray dog drive to quell them in the district for the protection of the general public. He also shared details of the control room with telephone No (0608) 546571 in connection with the special drive, which has been established in the office of the deputy commissioner. People have been advised to contact this number regarding the drive against stray dogs in the district.

Meanwhile, a day back, the residents of Basti Pucca in the area of Sammsatta police station, where four-year-old Ayan Shah, son of Sattar Shah, a nursery class student, fell victim to stray dogs, said that there were several poultry sheds in the area. The locals alleged that the owners of poultry sheds often threw the dead chickens in the open area, where packs of stray dogs could be seen waiting for food. They said the dogs also attacked the passers-by. They alleged that the owners of the poultry sheds were responsible for the killing of children by stray dogs and as such these owners should be taken to task by the police and the Saddar assistant commissioner of Bahawalpur administration.

Over in Khanewal, Deputy Commissioner Salman Khan Lodhi, while presiding over a meeting, ordered the formation of special teams for the campaign against stray dogs in urban and rural areas.

Additional Deputy Commissioner General Muhammad Akhtar Mandhira, Assistant Commissioners Iqra Mustafa, Rameez Zafar, Deputy Director Local Government Muhammad Shahid, Chief District Council Officer Muhammad Hussain Bangash and Chief Officers of Municipal Committees participated in the meeting.

Lodhi said the incidents of dog bites were painful for the citizens and children and no negligence would be tolerated in the campaign. The officers concerned would be responsible if any complaint was received from any place for immediate purchase of medicine, he added, adding that the assistant commissioners should also monitor the cleaning campaign themselves.

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