KESC situation: Union says police had no right to arrest their men

Workers say they will go to court to fight for the release of the three leaders.

Express August 31, 2011

KARACHI: The clashes at the Karachi Electric Supply Company’s (KESC) Gizri head office on Monday resulted in all three Labour Union (CBA) leaders, Akhlaque Ahmed Khan, Haji Shahzad and Usman Baloch being arrested along with 28 others, according to Defence SHO Raja Mushtaq.

At least 14 people were injured, eight of them union workers. According to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, the injured men admitted to the hospital have been discharged. Union workers claim that when they went to the police station to register an FIR against KESC’s CEO Tabish Gauhar the police arrested the injured workers and registered an FIR against them.

According to People Workers’ Union (PWU) general secretary Lateef Mughal, as per the Industrial Relations Ordinance, the police could not arrest the leaders of Collective Bargaining Agents (CBA).

The PWU president Aslam Samoo told The Express Tribune that the workers had moved the court to grant bail for the arrested workers “The court has granted physical remand till September 8. The police have registered cases against the workers under Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act,” he said. They would fight the allegations in court, they added.

KESC promises no power outage during Eid

The Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) demanded that the government vacate its main offices and public complaint centres that were shut down by armed union protesters on Monday and Tuesday. KESC said that the management had made arrangements to provide uninterrupted power supply during Eid but the closure of their offices on Chand Raat could make it extremely difficult for KESC to attend to local faults. It demanded immediate action by the government for re-opening of the maintenance offices and legal action against those responsible.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st,  2011.


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