Up to 350 people ransacked MEPCO facilities on Monday in protest against frequent power outages in Taunsa Sharif.
According to SHO Farhat Rasool, an FIR was lodged against the incident by sub-divisional officer Obaidullah Khosa who alleged that property worth more than Rs5 million was destroyed by protesters during the demonstration.
More than 200 electricity meters and all official records of Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) were also damaged in the demonstration, the FIR alleged.
According to official sources, the total loss might even exceed Rs7 million.
When contacted, Obaidullah told The Express Tribune that efforts are under way to resolve the power crisis gripping Taunsa.
“In this regard, funds totalling more than Rs1 million have already been approved,” said Khosa.
Protesters also attacked police personnel in the assault according to sources, leaving DSP Amjad Dogar critically injured.
All shops, banks and schools remained closed throughout the day in the city.
According to the residents of the area, power outages extending beyond 16 hours continue to disrupt normal life in Taunsa while in adjoining rural areas, there is hardly any power at all.
In Rahim Yar Khan, around 200 people protested against power outages on Monday.
Shouting slogans against the Water and Power Development (Wapda) authorities, the demonstrators donning black armbands, broke through the gate of the local Wapda office.
While talking to The Express Tribune, resident Nafeesa Bibi said that the unscheduled hours of power outages have become unbearable for the city’s inhabitants.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.
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