As many as 14 people, including two bus passengers, were arrested on Thursday following violent clashes during a protest against power outages on Sheikhupura Road.
The passengers were accused of shooting and injuring two protesters following an argument during the sit-in on Sheikhupura Road near Adda Johal.
Clashes between dozens of residents of Khurarianwala Industrial Zone, who were protesting against ‘excessive’ power outages, and the Balochni police continued for over three hours. The two sides clashed on Sheikhupura Road and later in front of the police station.
The FIR registered against the protesters stated that they had gathered in front of the police station and pelted the building with stones, damaging several windows.
The demonstrators dispersed after teargas shelling and baton charge by the police.
The protesters and the police earlier faced off on Sheikhupura Road, following a blockade that continued for over three hours.
Witnesses said the police team had arrived on the scene after some of the protesters started vandalising a passenger bus.
They said some of the protesters also tried to set the bus on fire.
The protesters had wanted the driver to park the bus, coming from Shahkot, and wait for their sit-in to end to continue its journey to the Lorry Adda.
They said during the argument two of the passengers, identified as Abdul Rasool and Ahsan Jaleel, took out pistols and shot at the protesters. Two men were injured in the incident. They were identified as Muhammad Adil and Ghulam Mustafa. They were taken to Allied Hospital where doctors later described their condition to be out of danger.
The demonstrators were arrested on Sections 148, 149, 144, 186 and 386 (road block, damaging public property and obstructing officials from their duties) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
One of the protesters, Muhammad Naeem, said the residents had taken to the streets following an increase in duration of power outages. He said outages in their area had increased since the Faisalabad Electricity Supply Company stopped purchasing electricity from private mills in the city.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2012.
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