A three-year-old girl died of suffocation during a protest over loadshedding in Barikot tehsil on Thursday.
The girl had been left behind in a van as thousands of people took to the streets as part of the ongoing protests over extended power cuts and low voltage across Swat district, official sources said.
Holding placards and raising slogans against the government and Wapda, the protesters blocked the Grand Trunk Road between Peshawar and Swat for six hours. “We will not leave until our problem is solved,” they exclaimed.
Tilawat Khan, an elder of the area, said the area receives only two to three hours of electricity in a day, “but even then the voltage is so low that it does not even charge our mobile sets”.
The protesters added that even after getting electricity for only a few hours a day, they are receiving hefty bills. They demanded Wapda and the government to either provide them electricity at reasonable rates or disconnect the supply lines.
The protesters dispersed after getting reassurances from Sub-divisional Magistrate Syed Saiful Islam Shah, Wapda executive engineer and senior police officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012.
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