Some passengers of the Jafar Express staged a sit-in at Multan station on Wednesday when railways officials refused to provide food they said they should be served. They were on their way from Rawalpindi to Quetta.
Some of the protesters lay on the train track and refused to let the train through.
They claimed that the train had stopped at 40 points since it departed from Rawalpindi. They said when the train again stopped in Multan late at night, they asked for food. They also said that the air conditioning was not working on the train and that drinking water was too warm to drink.
When the railways officials refused to serve food saying that it was not added in the fare, the people started shouting slogans against them. Some of them lay down in front of the railway tracks and were followed by more.
Muhammad Zafar, one of the passengers, said the train was stopped unnecessarily adding to the regular hours of the journey.
He said officials had been telling them that there was some technical fault in the engine, “but no one believed them”.
A police team was called finally to disperse the protesters and prevent them from damaging the train.
The train finally left after a six hours delay.
A railway official later told The Express Tribune that the train’s power plant had broken down. He said it took six hours to fix it. The train was being stopped at various stops for similar reasons, including the two-hour stop in Jahanian.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2013.