“Black Stone” becoming a new chemical suicide go-to


Chemical suicide

HMN-In 2017 so far, 128 people have used the poison paraphenylenediamine for suicide. Chemical suicide is becoming a serious threat to EMS responders and rescuers alike.  Nation.com.pk provides more.

BAHAWALPUR-Black stone or paraphenylenediamine has become a major facilitator in the suicides being committed by women commonly due to financial difficulties, domestic disputes and poverty.

Despite a ban on its sale, black stone is sold in the market. It is used for hair-dyeing and henna purpose. Unfortunately, for the last few decades, it has also gained the reputation as the cheapest poison for committing suicide. Locally known as Kala Pathar, the toxic substance is used for suicidal and homicidal deaths.

As many as 703 people had ingested the solution of black stone in 2016 and out of them 150 could not survive and lost their lives in Bahawal Victoria Hospital. In the first 9 months of the current year, the number has been increased to 1,042 out of which 128 lost their lives.

According to Nishtar Hospital data, 594 people were brought to the hospital in the first seven months of 2017 for treatment after they drank liquid spiked with the chemical.

South Punjab is in the grip of a new wave of honour killing nowadays through Kala Pathar. In southern Punjab increasing number of suicides are reported.

Financial difficulties, domestic disputes, intolerance, poverty, free will marriages, and divorces provoke the people to commit suicide while the practice is increasing in women, girls, and children.

According to a study, mostly women had used the fatal chemical to end their lives due to domestic frustration. Majority of the women belongs to middle and lower classes.

As many as 135 people including women had killed themselves by consuming black stone during first three months of the ongoing year (2017) in Multan region.

When a person ingests the black stone solution his throat gets blocked and its treatment is also very dangerous as to restore the breathing of the patient; a hole has to be made in the neck for treatment. A little dose of paraffin causes complete failure of lung functioning within 20 minutes. It is sold at grocery shops and can be very harmful. The chemical could be bought on cheapest price of Rs10.

Government’s negligence has become the biggest reason for the suicidal death. A strict ban should be imposed on its sale.

Political Activist Nausheen Qureshi said that if the government solves the financial difficulties of the women, increasing number of suicide can be avoided or reduced.

Another political activist Shahla Ehsan said that in southern Punjab unemployment is increasing rapidly which has promoted the trend of suicide among women while illiteracy is also a reason for suicide. Rabia Malik said that the government should take practical steps to ensure the ban on the sale of poison openly and protect the rights of women.

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