BATTAGRAM: A large number of people came onto the roads on Saturday to protest the crackdown

launched by the district administration and the Peshawar Electric Supply Company on electricity thieves and defaulters.

Residents of Ajmera, Chappargram and other areas took out a rally through the main bazaar and gathered at the Khatmi-i-Nabuwat Chowk, blocking the Karakoram Highway for over four hours.

The protesters chanted slogans against the district administration and Pesco officials.

They demanded transfer of the deputy commissioner and restoration of electricity to their area.

Jamaat-i-Islami local leaders, including Nisar Ahmed, Khalid Khan Ajmera and others also participated in the demonstration.

They said that the deputy commissioner had sent the Pesco officials to Ajmera village to take action against those using electricity illegally.

They said that the policemen accompanying the raiding teams forcibly entered their houses, thus violating the Pakhtun customs.

They alleged that the police lines, the District Headquarters Hospital and the district administration buildings had Pesco liabilities, but no one could dare take action against them.

Shaukat Hayat, Chappargram village council chairman, said the officials disconnected electricity to the whole union council, including those consumers, who had been regularly paying their power bills.

He threatened that the people would uproot the electricity pylons of the Allai Khwar power station’s transmission line if the electricity supply wasn’t restored to their areas.

The protesters also demanded making operational the mini hydel power project in Ajmera.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023

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