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May 30, 2017

Protesters go berserk in Dargai

Top Story

 
May 30, 2017

 Power outages

Two killed; DC among 14 injured as people torch Pesco offices, Levies post; army called out to control situation

DARGAI: Two protesters were killed and 14 others injured when personnel of the Levies force fired at protesters who torched the offices of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) against the unbearable and unannounced power cuts in Dargai, Malakand Agency.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sardar Bahadur and two Levies personnel also sustained injuries as the charged protesters pelted stones at them. The army was called out to control the situation after the protesters torched a Levies post.

The stick-wielding residents of Wartair Union Council and surrounding localities in Dargai entered the Pesco offices, ransacked the furniture and other equipment and put the offices on fire to protest the unscheduled and prolonged power outages.

The personnel of the Levies force present to protect the entity's offices resorted to firing at the protesters to break the violent protest. As a result, an activist of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and former president of Insaf Students Federation (ISF) of Dargai College Javed Khan Tufan suffered bullet injuries. Later, he succumbed to his injuries at the Tehsil Headquarters Hospital in Dargai.

Fourteen other protesters, besides Deputy Commissioner Sardar Bahadur and two Levies personnel, also sustained injuries in the firing and clashes between the Levies personnel and protesters. Some of the injured were identified as Shahab Khan, Niaz Ali, Ibrahim, Said Amin, Muhammad Shah and others. Some of the injured including the deputy commissioner were referred to a hospital in Mardan owing to the nature of injuries they suffered. 

The protesters later regrouped at the Dargai Chowk and blocked the busy Malakand road for traffic and ransacked shops, smashed the closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) installed at the square and pelted stones at signboards and vehicles damaging windshields of various vehicles.

PTI MNA Junaid Akbar Khan also joined the protesters and later visited the hospital to inquire after the injured protesters. The protesters reached the tehsil headquarters hospital in Dargai after the news of the death of Javed Khan and received the body. They put the body in front of the Levies post in Dargai and chanted slogans against Pesco and the Levies.

The protesters put fire and torched the Levies post after which the army was called out to bring the situation under control. The first information report of the violence could not be registered as the situation remained tense in the area.