At least five people were injured on Friday when a police van hit them during a protest against Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda). The injured were taken to a hospital, where they were later reported to be out of danger.
Hundreds of residents of Hakra Basti were protesting against Wapda after an XEN allegedly refused to act promptly after an electricity transformer was stolen from the area a few days ago. The protesters said they had reported the theft to XEN Mushtaq Khichi, but he had refused to help.
They blocked the National Highway for several hours and chanted slogans against Wapda and the XEN, accusing him of facilitating the theft.
The protest was led by former nazim Abdul Hamid Abbasi and Chamber of Commerce member Anwar Abbasi.
Some policemen from Liaqatpur police station were passing through the road in a police van carrying household effects of the station house officer.
They tried to disperse the protesters, but to no avail. They warned the protesters of running over them if they did not free the road. When they (protesters) did not move, the policemen drove the van through them. At least five people were injured.
Talking to reporters later, Anwar Abbasi condemned the police’s attitude and demanded departmental action against the policemen concerned.
He also announced a two-day hunger strike against the transformer theft and the police highhandedness.
He said a protest camp will be set up in front of the Wapda office.
The XEN was not available for his comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2012.