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Alarming number of suicide attempts in Ghizer district

The increasing number of suicide attempts in the Ghizer district of Gilgit Baltistan has become alarming as five more youngsters have reportedly committed suicide during last one week.

This district, where literacy rate is comparatively better, has emerged as the worst district keeping in view the number of suicides during the past one decade. According to residents of the area, over 300 youth including both, boys and girls have committed suicide since 2000. Although, the number is alarming, the issue has largely gone unnoticed.

However, police are yet to know the causes behind the emerging trend of suicides among youths in the district.

According to police, a student of BA and resident of Japoka village of Punial valley Abdul Shah took his life by hanging himself on Friday. The second incident of suicide was reported on the same day from Amalsat village of Yaseen valley, where another student named Syed Jalal Hussain shot himself on his head in his room.

Police said in the third incident a resident of Damas village of Punial committed suicide on Thursday. The victim was a matriculation student.

Earlier a 7th grader, resident of Ghakuch, the district headquarters of Ghizer, committed suicide by hanging himself. Another resident of Barjangle village of Ashkoman had also reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree on Wednesday. The increasing incidents of suicides, particularly among students, have alarmed the people of the district.

The emerging trend of suicides in Ghizer district has created fear and unrest among parents of the area. Residents of Ghizer district expressed dissatisfaction over police investigation in these sensitive cases. Parents said that in many cases, police even did not bother to register suicide cases just to avoid further investigation. According to residents of the area, once it is proclaimed as suicide, police usually avoid investigating the matter.

“Many dead bodies have even been buried without conducting postmortem,” a resident revealed.

Talking to Pakistan Today, a local journalist Qasim Shah said that police ignored investigating such cases and they did not prefer declaring these deaths as suicide cases just to avoid further investigation.

“Few cases were proved to be murders when police, in the past, had conducted investigation on the complaints of bereaved families,” he said adding, “I can count many examples of murder cases which have been declared suicide.”

According to another senior journalist in Gilgit Manzar Shigri, there are factors involved in suicide cases including financial crisis, unemployment, mental disorders and use of drugs among youth.

Shigri said, “Even honour killings are usually declared as suicides. No government organisation or private organisation has carried out proper investigation to trace reasons of these suicides and its prevention.” Some NGOs have started working on the matter as awareness sessions have been conducted to inform locals but that too has been confined to Ghahkuch, the district headquarters of Ghizer, he added.

Talking to Pakistan Today, SSP Gilgit Rana Mansoor ul Haq said that the phenomenon of suicide in Ghizar is not new as the cases of intentionally causing one’s own death have been reporting in the area during past few decades. “As we believe socio economic situation is the dominant factor of committing suicide in the area, there could be multiple reasons behind the unfortunate trend which should be tackled immediately by political government and civil society of the area,” he said.

“As compared to the rest of nine districts, the social economic activity in Ghizar is limited. We hope that connecting route under CPEC in the area would change life here,” the SSP claimed.

In reply to a query, he said that the issue of suicide in Ghizar was discussed in a recently held high level meeting in Gilgit. However, the local community and political representatives are the main players to control the suicide rate, he added.

via Pakistan Today

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