The power-starved people braving sweltering heat staged violent protest demonstrations in many cities of the country against load shedding on Sunday.
Angry protestors came out on the streets of Lahore Sunday after facing prolonged load-shedding. A large demonstration was held against the electricity situation in Lahore’s Garhi Shahu area where protestors blocked traffic and burnt tyres. They also chanted slogans against Wapda and the government and asked for urgent measures to be taken against the prolonged and unannounced power outages as well as the lack if water available.
In Faisalabad, protestors blocked Faisalabad-Samanduri road against load shedding for several hours. Police resorted to firing of tear gas shells to disperse the demonstrators who in return pelted stones at the police force. The demonstrators said that they were facing 20 to 22 hours of daily electricity load shedding and were without water to drink.
In Multan traders protested against the prolonged power outages, chanted slogans against the government, burnt tyres and blocked traffic.
In Chakwal, Jhelum and Attock, traders and ordinary people came on roads and raised slogans against power shortages. They burnt tyres on roads to block roads. They said they were not only forced to undergo long hours of power breakdowns but were unable to get water from tubewells and water supply schemes as there was no electricity.
In Pakpattan, people from different walks of life protested against unscheduled loadshedding in the city and its adjoining areas. They blocked Multan-Kasur Road, jamming traffic for many hours. They said electricity supply to villages had been suspended for many days. Water supply remained suspended due to loadshedding. The protesters said loadshedding was affecting their business badly.
A more violent protest took place in Chichawatni where the protestors attacked Saddar Police stations, set on fire seven motorcycles of police and broke the gate of its prison room. According to a private TV channel, seven accused in the police station prison room fled taking advantage of clash between the protestors and the police. Police registered case against 150 people for violent protest during which public properties were damaged and destroyed. The protestors attacked the house and office of MNA Zahid Iqbal and caused damaged to them. The angry protestors pelted his office and home. Police had to resort to aerial firing to disperse the protestors.
In Gujrat protestors blocked G. T. Road to protest against loadshedding.
Similar scenes were witnessed in Muridke.
In Kamonkee, protestors staged a Dharna at the Railways line leading to suspension of train services for several hours. Similar protests were reported from Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur and adjoining towns.
Reports from Peshawar, Kohat, Mansehra, said that people were forced to face about 20 hours of load shedding daily.
Another report from Miranshah said that Waziristan was without electricity for the past three days. Local Wapda officials said that the supply line from Islamabad has been cut off for the Agency.