Rawalpindi: Enraged protesters attack police picket, damage vehicles
Rawalpindi: Protests against prolonged power outages at Churr Chowk on Friday turned violent when protesters attacked a police picket, and pelted stones on police as well as private vehicles. The protesters started gathering at Churr Chowk from different nearby localities soon after Friday prayers. They chanted slogans against the federal government for failing to control unscheduled and untimely power outages.
The angry protesters blocked the road for two hours and when police tried to disperse them they started pelting stones on police and nearby passing vehicles. The situation further worsened when police used baton-charge and fired teargas shells to disperse the protesters.
CPO Rawalpindi Azhar Hameed Khokar was also present on the spot to handle the situation. The residents of Pirwadhai and Churr have been facing unannounced loadshedding spanning between 16 and 20 hours daily. “The power outages have made the life of the residents in the peak summer miserable,” said Rab Nawaz, a protester. He said the residents were out to express their anger and agony, as the authorities were unable to control the power outages. He said particular children faced difficulty during day and night.
He said, “We have submitted many applications to the concerned authorities, but no action has been taken on our requests.” The protesters also said that their protest was peaceful, but police used force to quell them eventually forcing the protesters to pelt stones on police and attack Naseerabad police picket.
Muhammad Saleem, another protester, said that they were forced to stage the protest demonstration as nobody was listening to them. “It was the only option left for us to show our plight to the government. The sitting government has completely failed. It is only busy in looting the people and least bothered about providing them basic facilities of life like water, gas and electricity,” he added.
When ‘The News’ contacted XEN City Iesco, Rawalpindi, Sheikh Abid Iqbal, he said the shortfall of electricity has reached almost 4,815 MW therefore people were facing prolonged loadshedding.