158 power protesters booked for blocking motorway

Published August 30, 2023
Shahalam traders burn tyres during a protest against inflated electricity bills. — White Star
Shahalam traders burn tyres during a protest against inflated electricity bills. — White Star

TOBA TEK SINGH: Gojra Saddar police on Tuesday registered two cases against 158 people for protesting against inflated power bills and blocking the M-4 at two points between Gojra and Toba Tek Singh interchanges on Monday.

On the other hand, a man allegedly committed suicide at Dijkot near Faisalabad after he failed to pay Rs40,000 electricity bill.

The family of Muhammad Hamza (35), a resident of Sabri Town locality of Dijkot, told police that he was already at his wits’ end due to financial constraints and the exorbitant electricity bill proved the last nail in his coffin. When he could not pay his bill, he shot himself dead. However, Dijkot police said an investigation would be carried out into the incident to confirm facts. The deceased was the father of two minor children.

In Gojra, the cases were registered under identical sections of 341, 506, 290, 291, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code against the electricity protesters.

In one FIR, the complainant of ASI Waris Ali Shami said 23 nominated and 50 unidentified persons broke the fence of the motorway and blocked traffic by holding a protest on it near Chak 311-JB.

Faisalabad man commits suicide over Rs40,000 electricity bill

In another FIR, registered against 15 nominated and 70 unidentified persons, ASI Muhammad Nawaz claimed that the protesters blocked the traffic on the M-4 near Chak 434-JB. No arrest has been made so far.

Notwithstanding the cases, a protest against high tariff power bills was held at Kamalia on Tuesday where the citizens blocked traffic on Chichawatni-Rajana Road at Kalma Chowk. They torched bills and shouted slogans against the government.

SARGODHA: A joint rally was taken out by the Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry and district bar association while a large number of the general public also joined it.

SCCI President Sajid Hussain Tarrar demanded the government reverse the hike in the power tariff while DBA President Rana Zafar Yasin said the lawyers would help the customers in filing legal suits against the high tariff. The traders also threatened to hold a shutdown strike on Sept 2.

The protesters said they would not deposit the bills and set up a force at Mohallah level to stop the Fesco officials from severing the electric supply and if the power supply was suspended, they would besiege the grid stations.

BAHAWALPUR: The Anjuman-i-Tajiran took out a procession against high electricity bills from Trust Colony Chowk to Khatm-i-Nubuwat Chowk on the Circular Road while the traders observed a strike and kept their businesses shut.

Another traders rally, led by Israr Hussain Shah, was taken out at the Islamia University Chowk. Besides, PPP activists also took to the streets at Fowara Chowk against inflated bills today.

The traders announced observing a complete strike on Wednesday (today).

OKARA: The traders in the Dipalpur and Renala Khurd cities would hold a shutdown strike on Thursday (tomorrow) against high rates of electricity.

The Markazi Anjaman-i-Tajiran and the leaders of political parties, including the PML-N’s Chaudhry Fayyaz Zafar, Dr Jahan Zeb of the PPP, Abdul Shakoor Tahir of the PTI, led a rally from Venus Chowk to Gole Chowk.

DERA GHAZI KHAN: Traders along with office-bearers of Dera Ghazi Khan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and common people took out a rally against inflated electricity bills.

The demonstrators burnt the electricity bills as the mark of their protest against the increase in rate of electricity. Another protest was held on the call of chairman of Khawja Muhammed Shafiq of the All Pakistan Trader Association.

The Jamaat-i-Islami held a press conference and rally against inflated electricity bills.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2023

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