Height of desperation: Rickshaw drivers climb electricity pylon to protest fines

Rickshaw driver protests against being fined three times in the last three days by police, joined by 8 other drivers.


Web Desk March 16, 2012

LAHORE: They say desperation has no heights, but one rickshaw driver in Lahore took up that challenge on Friday.

Rising expenses drove a motorcycle-rickshaw driver up the pole in the Sherakot area as he climbed an electricity pylon to protest against his third consecutive challan by the police. He was later joined by dozens more people, who climbed the tower.

Electricity was turned off in the afternoon.

The driver had first arrived in the area and informed people that he had been fined three times in the last three days, adding that he could no longer afford to pay the fines. Today the police had impounded his motorcycle-rickshaw.

In protest, the driver climbed to the top of the tower with copies of the challan in his hand.

A local man later climbed the pylon to negotiate with the driver and was promised that he would come down. Instead of the first driver coming down, eight more climbed the tower to join the protest.

The crowd later swelled and police resorted to baton charging to disperse them. Once the crowd started to retaliate, the police then started aerial firing and also fired straight at some of the protestors, injuring some of them in the process.

Armed men, who were believed to be plainclothes policemen, were also seen firing at the gathered crowd from a house.

Mazhar, the first climber

The first driver to climb the tower identified himself as Mazhar. Reporters and cameramen had climbed the tower and spoken to him about the situation.

He said that the policemen would stop him every day and waste his time.

Mazhar claimed that the policemen had stopped him again today and joked with him saying that he had told them he would jump under a car yesterday, and then gave him the challan.

The driver claimed that there was no violation and the policemen just joked with him.

COMMENTS (18)

Sameer Qadir | 9 years ago | Reply

I have a simple suggestion for Express Tribune.Hire a rickshaw for a week. Get one driver with a license and another without one. Tell the one without a license to go out the first day and do his duty like any other rickshaw driver. Then get the driver with the license to drive the same rickshaw the second day.Alternate, and after one week, come back with a complete story. I think it will open the eyes of everyone commenting on this story. If you want to fix the problem, first be a part of it then make your final deductions.

Ch Allah Daad | 9 years ago | Reply

This idiot has only two options. One is to pay the fine and second is to fight the challan. If anyone wants to support him, he should contribute some money for him to get legal help. All his stunts are against the law and he must be prosecuted seperately. Lahore Rickshaw drivers are worst in the world. Even Martial Law authorites could not force them to obey traffic rules and charge according to meter. Absolutely no sypathy for these jerks.

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