A protest against prolonged electricity loadshedding, especially during ‘Sehr’ and ‘Iftar’, turned violent at Bhara Kahu here on Monday, as duration of power outages have been increased to 12 to 15 hours daily.
The worst kind of traffic jam was witnessed as angry protesters damaged public property, burnt tyres and blocked main Murree Road for several hours. When police tried to intervene, the demonstrators beat up police officials and pelted stones at them. Police resorted to baton-charge and tear-gas shelling to disperse the angry mob, but failed to disperse the crowd till the filing of this report.
Hundreds of Bhara Kahu residents gathered at Murree Road at about 11:50 a.m. to register their protest against prolonged electricity loadshedding. The protest caused worst kind of traffic jam on Murree Road. Dozens of fasting commuters fainted due to extremely hot and humid weather and traffic jam for hours. The protesters raised slogans against the federal government for its failure in resolving electricity crisis in the country.
The enraged protesters entered into the nearby government and private offices and damaged their windowpanes, doors and furniture. All markets, petrol pumps and CNG stations at Bhara Kahu remained closed during the protest demonstration.
The heat-stricken residents of the federal capital also forcibly entered into the Iesco office, Islamabad, and damaged its property.The protesters, carrying sticks in their hands, said that the government was torturing people through long hours of loadshedding in the holy month of Ramazan.
The protesters said that hundreds of factories have been shut down, while thousands of people were rendered jobless due to the loadshedding. They said that even hospitals were not exempted from loadshedding and dozens of serious patients face life risk every day. They said people are also facing acute water shortage due to loadshedding. The protesters threatened to block GT Road and Motorway if the government failed to end loadshedding.