MULTAN: Scores of factory workers and owners of powerlooms on Wednesday staged a demonstration against excessive billing and increase in unannounced loadshedding after commencement of work on Metro Bus Project.

The protesters carrying banners and placards gathered at Chungi No 14 and blocked road for traffic by burning tyres. Powerloom Owners Association General Secretary Khaliq Qandeel Ansari led the demonstration.

The protesters chanted slogans against Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco).

They said powerlooms owners had already been suffering from financial losses due to the unannounced loadshedding as the export volume dropped for not meeting the supply orders.

And now increase in outages because of work on Metro project had ruined their business.

They said workers had been facing difficulties because most industrial units were closed.

They said people were also unable to pump water for domestic use.

They said the powerloom sector was also facing the issue of excessive billing.

They threatened to widen the scale of their protest if the unannounced loadshedding was not ended.

PROTEST: Scores of residents of Katcha Phattak protested against Vehari police on Wednesday on Sher Shah Road over what they said delay in handing over body of a man who was killed in a robbery incident.

The protesters, including women and children, blocked Sher Shah Road for traffic by burning tyres, leading to long queues of vehicles.

Stages demo against excessive billing

They chanted slogans against Vehari police and refused to clear the road that resulted in scuffle among the protesters and passersby.

The protesters said 22-year-old Ahsan Alyas was killed by alleged robbers in Tibba Sultanpur police precincts in Mailsi.

They said police shifted the body from Nishtar Hospital to police station for formalities. They said even after a lapse of more than 15 hours, police did not hand over body to the family.

The protesters said although the family had informed the police that they did not want any legal action, police were allegedly using delaying tactics.

The protesters dispersed after police assured them that the body would be handed over to them soon.

Meanwhile, Tibba Sultanpur police have lodged an FIR No 263/15 of the incident under sections 324 (murder attempt), 337-G (punishment for hurt by rash or negligent driving) and 34 of Pakistan Penal Code.

Duty Officer Shafiq said police would invoke section 302 in the case as Alyas succumbed to his bullet wounds.

He said unidentified persons riding a motorcycle fired on the vehicle in which Alyas and other people were travelling.

He said further investigation was under way “and it is premature to say that it was a robbery attempt.”

CYLINDER BLAST: Two people were injured in a gas cylinder blast on Sher Shah Road on Wednesday.

Rescue 1122 said the cylinder exploded at a gas-welding workshop causing injuries to Muhammad Ali and Yasir.

The injured were shifted to Nishtar Hospital where doctors discharged them after treatment.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2015

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