ISLAMABAD: Clashes between police and protesting employees of the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL)on Wednesday left dozens from both sides injured, police and eyewitnesses said.
The employees of the OGDCL were trying to reach Parliament House to record their protest against the privatisation of the company.
The police, however, succeeded in arresting 25 employees.
About 400 workers first gathered in front of their building in Blue Area and then started marching towards the Parliament House via Attaturk Avenue.
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They were led by the union’s President Chaudhry Mohammad Akram and the CDA union president, Chaudhry Yasin.
When they reached Nadra Chowk, the police intercepted them. The protestors resisted the police, demanding access to the Parliament House.
However, senior officers of police and capital administration somehow succeeded in restricting the protesters to the Chowk.
In the meantime, MNA Jamshed Dasti reached the Chowk and started inciting the protesters to move towards Parliament House, the police and eyewitnesses said.
But the union leaders informed him that they had promised the police that they would not move any further from here.
Also read: Workers protest OGDCL privatisation
But the MNA continued inciting the protesters. The city SP and assistant commissioner then asked him not to take the law in his hands, they said, adding that he ignored their requests and asked the protesters to follow him. Section 144 had already been enforced.
As the MNA was leading the protesters, the police and administration retreated. When they (protesters) reached Radio Pakistan Chowk they all of a sudden started pelting policemen with stones.
As a result, SP city Rizwan Gondal, DSP City Ashraf Shah, SHO Kohsar, along with dozen other policemen were injured.
Later, the police resorted to baton charge which led to a physical fight between them. The police also used teargas to disperse the protesters.
The arrested persons were shifted to Kohsar and Secretariat police stations.