Power outages: motorway blocked in Swabi for three hours

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 8:00:11 by

SWABI/BANNU, June 5: Scores of loadshedding protesters from across Chota Lahor tehsil on Tuesday blocked Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway for more than three hours.

They, however, dispersed peacefully after the local administration stepped in and assured them of conveying their concerns to the relevant quarters for resolution.

On Monday evening, repeated public appeals were made on loudspeakers in Tordher, Chota Lahor, Manki, Sheikh Dheri, Kaya, Beka, Khunda, Anbar and various small villages for participation in the protest against the excessive power cuts.

The response to the appeals was tremendous as people from these areas converged on Tordhar in large numbers.

Political activists also joined the protesters, who first blocked Swabi-Jahangira Road and Chota Lahor-Adina Road and then converged on the motorway.

Led by MPA Sardar Ali, Abdul Karim of PPP-S, Amjid Ali of ANP, Dr Fazal Elahi of PTI, they later blocked the motorway and announced to move away only after Wapda and Peshawar Electric Supply Company officials gave them a written assurance about end to unscheduled loadshedding.

A heavy contingent of police was deployed there.

District coordination officer Mohammad Shah, district police officer Abdul Rashid and the Pesco executive engineer tried to pacify protesters but to no avail.

The DCO and DCO shot down the idea of baton-charging protesters to clear the motorway and insisted that dialogue could resolve the matter.

DCO Shah told Dawn: “We held four-hour negotiations with the leaders of protesters on Monday night and appealed to them not to block Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway but to no avail as they wanted a written assurance about six-hour loadshedding
daily.”He said the protesters dispersed only after an assurance was given to them about apprising the relevant authorities about resolution of prolonged loadshedding within a week.

DPO said police couldn’t promise loadshedding for lesser hours a day as it had nothing to do with the matter.

MPA Sardar Ali and Abdul Karim complained that power cuts lasting 20 to 22 hours a day had made the people’s life so miserable that they had poured into the streets and blocked the motorway.

In Bannu, traders on Tuesday observed a shutdown against arrests of their colleagues and firing on peaceful protesters by the police on Monday in which a journalist and two traders were injured.

Traders organisations with support of local community members joined hands to start movement against police highhandedness with peaceful protesters.

The Anjuman-i-Tajaran Bannu, Anjuman-i-Tajaran Haqqiqi, and other bodies, in separate meetings, demanded that cases registered against the traders should be withdrawn and those arrested should be released forthwith.

Islamabad News Sources

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