SWABI: Eight people, including an assistant commissioner, sustained injuries in a firing incident during a protest against excessive power cuts in Chota Lahor tehsil in the Swabi district here on Wednesday.
It was learnt that the residents of Manki village — children and women among them — gathered at Manki bazaar and blocked the Swabi-Jehangira road for traffic at Sehr to protest against unscheduled loadshedding.
The protesters staged a sit-in on the road, suspending the flow of traffic between Nowshera/Islamabad and the district. The commuters faced great difficulties and had to wait for more than seven hours before the road could be reopened.
Police officials said that District Naib Nazim Asar Khan, who belongs to Manki village, asked Assistant Commissioner of Chota Lahor Samiullah and Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) executive engineer to hold talks with the representatives of the protesters.
However, when the officials and Asar Khan reached the venue, the protesters surrounded them and started pelting them with stones, an official said.“Assistant Commissioner Samiullah was injured while the other officials remained unhurt,” said District Police Officer Javed Iqbal.
He said that eight protesters were also injured in the melee. To a question, Javed Iqbal said the police fired warning shots to break up the protest when the protesters started throwing stones at them.
Sources said that 10 protesters were arrested and taken to Chota Lahor. However, District Nazim Ameer Rehman told this correspondent that the arrested protesters had been released. “I have asked DPO Javed Iqbal to release the arrested people,” he said.Later, Awami National Party local leader Amjad Khan, Asar Khan and various others held talks with the protesters and finally the road was reopened.
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