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G-B govt forms committee to probe spike in suicides

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government has constituted a special committee to determine the reason behind the rising number of suicide cases in Ghizer district.

As many as 10 cases of suicide have been reported from the district in May, police officials said.

This week alone, police reports suggested, a young woman jumped into a river in Gahkuch while another young woman threw herself into the river in the Hundur village of Yasin Tehsil.

In Ashkoman Valley a 20-year-old woman hanged herself.

According to social activists, youngsters in these areas, especially those between the ages 14-28 years were involved in committing suicide.

As many as 300 suicides had been reported in the region over the past 18 years. However, with 10 attempts in less than a month have set off alarm bells, forcing the government to launch a probe to determine what is pushing young people to towards death.

G-B Minister for Works, Law and Prosecution Dr Muhammad Iqbal has been tasked to head the committee which also includes Tourism Minister Fida Khan, G-B Legislative Assembly (GBLA) members Rani Atiqa, Nawaz Khan and Raja Aurangzeb. Of these Fida and Nawaz are the elected representatives from Ghizer.

Initially, the panel will invite scholars to a seminar on June 6, for public feedback on the alarming rise in suicide cases in Ghizer.

Moreover, non-governmental organisations, community leaders and the G-B government would help arrange seminars about mental health.

GBLA Deputy Speaker Jafferullah Khan, while taking up the subject on the floor of the assembly, had stressed the need for coming up with a solution for this scourge.

“The increasing number of suicide attempts in Ghizer has become alarming as three more young women reportedly committed suicide during last week,” he said. via ET

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