Punjab power riots: Two dead as protests rage for a third day

Published: March 27, 2012

Policemen walk across a petrol station gutted in a violent protest. PHOTO: AFP

FAISALABAD: 

Two men lost their lives as protests against power cuts continued for a third day in Lahore and elsewhere.

As protesters rallied on GT Road, a guard at a petrol station opened fire, killing Ameer Hamza, 16.

In a separate incident, a labourer suffocated to death in an elevator in Shah Alam market after he had been trapped inside for hours due to power outages in the area.  Imran is reported to have tried to contact friends and relatives in his hours-long misery.

Rescuers did try to breakthrough the elevator but due to absence of power, all of their efforts proved futile in the end.

‘Long march’ threat

In Faisalabad, meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced that if required he would lead a ‘long march’ to Islamabad in protest against power cuts.

While speaking to journalists, Shahbaz remarked that only Punjab faces persistent power shortages, which have economically crippled its people.

Claiming that the days of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – led coalition government were over, Shahbaz said that people will reject them in the next elections.

“People have been deprived of daily meals due to the closure of the industry, while manufacturing activities have come to a standstill,” he said.

More than a dozen demonstrations were staged in various parts of Faisalabad by power loom workers. Protestors blocked major roads in the city and chanted slogans against the government as well as the Faisalabad Electric Supply Corporation (Fesco).

‘Within next 24 hours’

Taking notice of the alarming situation, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani took notice of the unscheduled power outages in the country, directing authorities to end the crisis within the next 24 hours.

The premier directed ministries of finance, water and power as well as petroleum to take immediate steps to end the menace.

A compliance report has been sought which will be submitted to the prime minister in Seoul. WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING FROM WIRES

Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Mar 27, 2012 - 10:14AM

    The President “TAKES NOTICE”, the Prime Minister “TAKES NOTICE”, the situation keeps getting worse each day. Signs of a public revolt are becoming more and more visible. Over 100 million younger generation becoming restless.

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  • abdul nasir saggu
    Mar 27, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Most unfortunately it is happening again & again/

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  • Hairaan
    Mar 27, 2012 - 2:04PM

    ET what about the riot currently occurring in Karachi? Not even a single news. Jo dar gaya wo mar gaya.

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  • Mirza Zulfiqar Baig
    Mar 27, 2012 - 2:34PM

    PML(N) should resign or otherwise stop making fool to Pakistani nation..Its nothing more than “Noora Kushti”.

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  • Parvez Amin
    Mar 27, 2012 - 3:06PM

    Instead of ‘taking notice’, whatever that is supposed to mean, would it not be more appropriate to take steps to bring back the looted wealth, or cut down on fabulous personal expenditures of government servants to pay the outstanding amounts due to the power generation companies?

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  • A Ali
    Mar 27, 2012 - 3:34PM

    I will happen until the Corrupt Rulers of my country are not thrown away by the Nation of Pakistan.

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  • Blithe
    Mar 27, 2012 - 3:40PM

    Sorry about the loss of life. Why must only protests and agitation and PML N deadlines only
    resolve the power issues???

    PPP must wake up and be proactive.
    This not the first time that PML N has had
    to give deadlines to resolve such issues.

    Recommend

  • Blithe
    Mar 27, 2012 - 3:50PM

    @Mirza Zulfiqar Baig:
    Your warpped logic makes no sense?!?!?

    Why should pml-n resign? They are the opposition and they are securing our right to electricity,
    They have given many deadlines in the past and they seemed to have worked in getting electricity back on track.

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  • Jibran
    Mar 27, 2012 - 4:01PM

    Burning of the property of the people officially by the Punjab Government. Would Hon. Chief Justice take notice?

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  • Mar 27, 2012 - 4:43PM

    Crowd should March towards president and parliament house

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  • john smith from up west
    Mar 27, 2012 - 4:56PM

    Mr mirza your opinins are insipid st best you keep shouting we have democracy you havent got the faintest idea what real democracy is free speech good governance elected officials not by fear and fraud !Recommend

  • jawad
    Mar 27, 2012 - 6:06PM

    Why not install solar?

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  • major-ji
    Mar 27, 2012 - 6:36PM

    @john smith from up west:

    You are right. We have democracy only on papers. Neither those govern nor those being governed know what really democracy is. People are like last sheeps. Not aware how to get their rights. However when elections are coming surprisingly giving votes to the same tested corrupt feudal lot. Some optimistic Pakistanis say exist young educated generation which can change the fate of this country. But where is that up coming generation no one can see. Madrasas, however are producing young lot as raw material for terror connected factories.

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