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Power cuts trigger violent protests across Pakistan

Online
Filed on June 21, 2015

Govt fails to keep promise of smooth power supply during Suhoor and Iftar.

Islamabad: Violent protests erupted across the country against unannounced and prolonged power loadshedding on first day of the holy month of on Friday.

The enraged protesters in Multan carrying sticks in their hands raised slogans against the government and the Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) and danced on the beat of drums.

They also vented their anger by burning posters of local leaders.

Some furious men burnt tyres and blocked the Vehari road for traffic for an hour.

The protesters said that due to excessive loadshedding, their prayers are also being affected as there is no water supply in their homes.

The protesters demanded of the government to reduce the loadshedding’s duration at least during the holy month.

Moreover, police also registered a case against unknown men in Chhota Lahore police station.

Protests were also held in Karachi against the power outages. People came on roads and burnt tyres disrupting the traffic.

However, they were dispersed by the police afterwards.

Despite claims by the government for uninterrupted power supply during Suhoor and Iftar, the very first Suhoor of the holy month of Ramadan plunged into darkness in various areas across the country.

Violent protests also erupted in several parts of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province on Friday over prolonged loadshedding despite the federal government’s promise of no power cuts during critical timings in the holy month. Power outages during Suhoor were also reported from other cities across the country including Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Sahiwal and Okara.

Up to 20 hours power cuts were reported in Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan, Swabi, Kohat, Dera Ismail Khan, Karak and Dir districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa prompting violent protesters to take to the streets.

A grid station was torched by a mob in Charsadda district while district administration offices were set ablaze in Swabi. Clashes between police and protesters were also reported in several areas.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy, had directed authorities to ensure hassle-free power supply during Suhoor and Iftar.

Federal Minister of Water and Power Khawaja Asif had also assured the nation of uninterrupted power supply during critical times throughout the Ramadan.


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