HYDERABAD, Oct 1: Almost all major cities and towns of the interior of the province were shut on Monday as enraged protesters hung bangles on the doors of legislators’ houses, blocked roads, burnt tyres and demonstrated in the streets during a strike called by Sindh Bachayo Committee and Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz.
The committee had given the strike call in protest against approval of the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012 by Sindh Assembly while the JSQM had called for protest against government’s failure to register murder case of its party chief Bashir Khan Qureshi.
Activists of nationalist parties and their supporters took out processions, staged sit-ins, held demonstrations and burnt tyres on major roads and highways across the province to vent their rage.
In Hyderabad, markets and shopping centres were partially closed in the city and traffic was thin on roads. Reports of sporadic aerial firing were received from different parts pf the district.
Angry youths hung pan and bangles on the doors of houses of PPP MPAs Mohammad Nawaz Chandio, Imdad Pitafi and Ali Nawaz Shah Rizvi in Qasimabad and burnt effigies of provincial law minister Ayaz Soomro and Sindh Assembly speaker Nisar Khuhro. Member of Save Sindh Committee and president of Awami Tehrik Ayaz Latif Palijo staged a sit-in and a token hunger strike against SPLGO at Naseem Nagar Chowk.
He said that people would never accept the ordinance. Roshan Ali Buriro of Sindh United Party (SUP) said that protests and sit-ins would continue till the government took back the ordinance.
Scores of workers of Jeay Sindh Tehrik (JST), Jeay Sindh Student Federation (JSSF) and Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JSM) demonstrated outside the press club and shouted slogans against the government and the SPLGO.
A complete shutter-down strike was observed in Sukkur, Rohri, Pano Akil, Khanpur Mahar, Ghotki, Mirpur Mathelo, Daharki, Ubauro, Thull, Garhi Khairo, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Kandhkot and Kashmore.
Activists of JSM took out a procession in the city where a school bus of Workers Model School was set on fire on late on Sunday night by miscreants.
The protesters pelted vehicles with stones and clubs and shattered their windowpanes at Neem-Ki-Chari, city bypass and Ayoob Gate.
A complete strike was observed in Jacobabad. Activists of STPP took out a procession, which terminated in a sit-in front of the house of MPA Raja Abdul Rahim Khoso after marching through different roads.
The protesters later marched up to the National Highway where burnt tyres and staged a sit-in, bringing heavy traffic between Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan to a halt for some time.
Addressing the protesters, local leaders of nationalist parties said the new local government system was not acceptable to people. The ordinance which was issued in the dark of night was a conspiracy to divide Sindh, they said.
They urged the government to immediately withdraw the law.
Activists of nationalist parties demonstrated outside the houses of Sindh Assembly speaker Nisar Khuhro, MNA Nazeer Ahmed Bughio in Dokri and and Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro and hung a set of bangles on the door of Soomro’s house during a complete wheel-jam and shutter-down strike in Larkana and Qambar-Shahdadkot districts.
JSQM CHAIRMAN: JSQM chairman Sanan Qureshi said in a press statement that peaceful strike had proved that people would not let the blood of Qureshi go down the drain.
He said that imposition of SPLGO on Sindh would be tantamount to dividing the province. The ordinance had unmasked the real face of PPP, he said, adding the party had hurt the soul of Benazir Bhutto.
He claimed that more than 100 JSQM workers were arrested during the strike and accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers of firing at JSQM workers in Daulatpur. Armed men of MPA Shahryar Mahar beat up workers in Lakhi Ghulam Shah, he said and urged the government to release all workers.
All bazaars and shopping centers remained closed in Dadu during the strike.
Activists of nationalist parties took out a big rally which terminated at the press club.
Addressing the protesters, the local leaders said that the day the SPLGO was passed into a law would be remembered as black day in the history of Sindh.
They said that they had decided to socially boycott the PPP legislators.
Heavy contingents of police stood guard outside the houses of MPAs, Syed Ghulam Shah Jilani (Johi), Pir Mazharul Haq (Dadu) Rashida Panhwar (Dadu), Kalsoom Chandio (Dadu), Imran Leghari (Khairpur Nathan Shah), Fiaz Butt (Mehar), MNA Rafique Ahmed Jamali, Dr Talat Mahesar, Syed Murad Shah (Wahar-Sehwan) and Dr Sikandar Shoro (Jamshoro) to safeguard the legislators from the wrath of nationalist parties.
The Sindh University, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro and Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences in Jamshoro and Sindh University Campus in Dadu remained closed during strike.
Cracker thrown at minister’s house Unknown assailants riding a motorcycle threw a cracker near the house of Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq in Mazdoor Mohalla in Dadu. No eventualities or damage was reported.
The administration beefed up security around the ministers’ residence after the attack.
A complete shutter-down was observed in Khairpur where a large number of activists of JSQM and SUP blocked the National Highway by burning tyres on the road.
The protesters exchanged hot words with police during the protest and police reportedly took some activists into custody.
Similar protests were held in Mirpurkhas, Shikarpur, Thatta, Umerkot, Badin, Sanghar, Mithi, Digri, Mirwah Gorchani, Tando Jan Mohammad, Naukot, Lakhi, Chak, Madeji, Khanpur, Mian Sahib, Dakhan, Sujawal, Mirpur Sakro, Mirpur Bathoro, Gharo, Gujjo, Jati, Chuhar Jamali, Jhoke Sharif, Samaro, Kunri, Pithoro, Shadi Palli, Dhoronaro, Chhore cantonment, Khokhrapar, Raja Rasti, Ghulam Nabi Shah, Tando Adam, Khipro, Shahpur Chakar, Golarchi, Tando Bago, Matli, Talhar, Nindo Shaher, Kadhan and Khorwah towns.
Activists of JSQM, JSM, AT, SUP, Jamiat Ulama-i-Islam, Pakistan Muslim League-N, National People’s Party, PPP-SB and other civil society organisations took out processions, held demonstrations and staged sit-ins on highways and major roads to voice protest against the SPLGO and the government’s failure to register an FIR for the murder of JSQM chief.
All markets and trade centres remained shut and traffic was thin on roads.