HARIPUR: Several protesters from Ghazi tehsil were injured when police resorted to baton charge after they blocked the road to Tarbela Dam offices here on Thursday, saying they had been ignored in jobs for the Tarbela Dam fifth extension project.

The World Bank-funded 1,530MW Tarbela-5 project was recently launched in the limits of Ghazi tehsil and the Wapda authorities had promised to allocate certain quota in jobs for the local residents.

However, according to Irum Rasheed Tahirkheli, a rights activist, the Wapda officials ignored the locals and allegedly started hiring their blue eyed.

The residents, led by Irum Rasheed, started the protest rally from Rizwan Shaheed Chowk, Ghazi, and staged a sit-in at the Ghazi-Tarbela Dam checkpost from early morning, which continued till filing of this report.

The protesters also blocked the traffic to and from the offices of Tarbela Dam and residential colonies.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Irum and other speakers accused theTarbela Dam authorities of hiring outsiders and said that the local people deserved to be given priority in jobs under the law. The local administration held negotiations with the protesters, but they refused to clear the road.

Later, the police resorted to teargas shelling and baton charge in which several protesters were injured. The police also arrested some of the protesters.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2021

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