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KP sees more violent protests

July 31, 2012

LAKKI MARWAT, July 31: Protests against excessive loadshedding continued in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining tribal areas on Tuesday with violence being reported in some areas.

In Lakki Marwat city, scores of protesters, mostly from Abakhel, Dallokhel and nearby villages, converged at Kargil Chowk, blocked Bannu-Mianwali Road and burnt old tyres shouting slogans against Wapda and the government over energy crisis.

They later ransacked Pesco offices, damaged furniture and torched record, power transformers and a vehicle.

Rioters also pelted a nearby Nadra office, a commercial bank and private and public properties with stones, and damaged electricity and gas meters.

Later, they turned to a market owned by the family of MPA Munawar Marwat and damaged sheds and electricity meters.

The attempt to attack the house of MPA Munawar Khan in Michenkhel Adda area was foiled by guards deployed there.

In Karak, too, prolonged loadshedding forced people of Sordag and adjacent areas into taking to the streets.

They blocked Kohat Bannu Road for hours and had scuffles with stranded motorists.

Protesters complained about suspension of electric supply to their areas for as long as 22 hours.

Ex-JUI-S MNA from Karak district Maulana Shah Abdul Aziz, who led protesters, threatened to besiege and torch Pesco offices along with his supporters if smooth electric supply wasn’t restored within three days.

He said after the said deadline expired, there would no place for Pesco employees in the district.

In Swabi, power protesters from Thano, Kaya, Beka, Bazaar and other Lahor villages surrounded Pesco subdivision offices in Tordher area and staged a demonstration.

Also in the day, announcements were made on loudspeaker across the district about a protest demonstration at Karnal Sher Khan Chowk today (Wednesday) against the arrest of power protesters and registration of FIR against them.

In Kohat, people protesting loadshedding turned violent as they fired gunshots at Lachi grid station.

However, no damage to human life or property was reported.

Lachi police registered a case against unidentified attackers and began a search for them. No arrests were made by Tuesday night.

In Nowshera, too, scores of people from Akbarpura, Rashakai, Marti, Jalozi and Camp Koroona areas took out rallies against frequent power cuts and blocked Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway for hours.

They cleared the highway and dispersed only after police baton-charged and teargassed them.

In a clash with protesters, police constable Hameedullah suffered injuries after being hit by a stone. He was taken to a local hospital, where his condition is stated be critical.

In Ekkaghund Bazaar of Ghalanai area in Mohmand Agency, tribesmen led by ANP leader Nisar Mohmand blocked Peshawar-Bajaur Road for three hours to vent their anger against prolonged, unscheduled loadshedding.

Shouting slogans against Tesco and political administration, they burnt tyres on the road leading to a long queue of vehicles.

Meanwhile, Talash Dushkhel tribesmen on Tuesday complained to Pesco officials about low voltage of electricity.

Pesco Xen Riaz Khan assured visitors that he would try his level best to fix the problem shortly.

The tribesmen warned him of agitation if low voltage problem was not resolved in the next two days.