Power protest in several cities

KASUR/LAHORE: Thousands of people including traders, workers and villagers took out a rally, burnt two motorcycles and a vehicle, and damaged gates, windows and furniture of the grid station in protest against 20-hour power shutdown in Khudian Wednesday.

The protesters from Khudian and surrounding villages blocked Kasur-Depalpur Road and chanted slogans against Wapda and the government. Later, the protesters marched towards the grid station and attacked it. They also beat up grid station employees. The police had to resort to baton-charge to disperse the protesters. A heavy contingent of police from different stations reached the place to control the situation.

The protesters also took out rallies in Ganda Singhwala, Noorpur, Qutba and Katcha Pacca and pelted police with stones. As a result, Ganda Singhwala SHO Akbar and four policemen were injured. Meanwhile, over 10 protesters were injured in the scuffle.

Despite tall claims of the government that shutdown will not be observed during Ramazan, up to 20-hour loadshedding of electricity was observed in the city and adjoining areas. The people observed and broke fast during the shutdown. Citizens told our sources that almost all the city areas remained without electricity for several hours. They said they had to face numerous problems, including an acute shortage of water, throughout the day.

Protest demonstrations in certain areas of Lahore were also held in response to the prolonged power shutdowns. Hundreds of people in Farooq Gunj, Misri Shah, Krishan Nagar, Samanabad, Nisbat Road, Bihar Gul Begum, Shadbagh, Karamnagar, Misri Shah, Township, Gowalmandi, Qila Gujjar Singh took out protest rallies against Wapda and Lesco.

While Pepco had announced to continue power supply to domestic consumers at Sehar and Iftar times, loadshedding has continued in view of the 3600 megawatt electricity shortfall for at least nine hours in cities and 13 hours in villages and smaller cities such as Lalamusa, Baddo Malhi, Toba Tek Singh, Sambarial, Gujrat, Pakpattan, Arifwala and Hujra Shah Muqeem. Similar protests against prolonged power shutdowns were held in Sahiwal, Sheikhupura, Sargodha, Sialkot and Chunian. In Khanqah Dogran, demonstrators ransacked Wapda office.

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