A father wanting to celebrate the birth of his son ended up killing himself and several others in a tragic incident in Pakistan's Punjab province. More than 20 people died after consuming poisoned sweets, while five are undergoing treatment. Police suspect the sweets were contaminated with pesticides.
Distributing sweets as part of celebrations or festivities is a common practice in the country. Birth of a child or a wedding are occasions when people share their happiness with their close friends and family by offering sweets or desserts.
Unfortunately, celebrations of Sajjad Hussain, a villager in Layyah district near Multan in Pakistan, took a tragic turn after five persons died immediately after consuming ladoos, round-shaped sweets, that he distributed to celebrate the birth of his son, police spokesman Irfan Faiz told BBC. The death toll has reached 23 since then, which includes Hussain, one of his sisters, all of his seven brothers, two of his nieces and a nephew.
The poisoned sweets affected about 77 people in the village. Five are undergoing treatment at Nishtar hospital in Multan, while the rest have recovered following treatment.
Senior police official Rameez Bukhari was quoted by AFP news agency as saying the owner of a nearby pesticide shop had left pesticides packets at the sweetmeat shop for safe keeping while his shop was being renovated. Police suspect those pesticides may have contaminated the sweets. Laboratory tests are underway.
Police have reportedly arrested two owners of the local sweetshop and one of their employees as part of the investigation. The owners have been charged under food control and poisonous substances laws, the BBC report noted.
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