Three protest rallies were organised in the city on Monday. None become violent and the protesters dispersed peacefully, police said.
Scores of the people from Rasool Park in Madina Town staged a demonstration against the Madina Town police for their failure to recover a 16-year-old girl, abducted five months ago.
The protesters carried banners and placards with the girl’s photographs and messages for the government seeking orders for the police to recover the girl.
The demonstrators sat in front of the district government secretariat at Zila Council Chowk. They later burnt tyres also and blocked University Road for several hours.
The father of the girl told The Express Tribune that she was kidnapped on August 13, 2013. He said he had nominated six people in the FIR, but the police had questioned only two of them and found them guilty.
He said the other suspects, who had been declared innocent, had been threatening him after their accomplices were arrested and sent on judicial remand. He said despite the fact, the police had also not recovered his daughter. He alleged that the police were protecting the kidnappers and their accomplices.
A police team, led by the Kotwali station house officer, visited the scene and asked the protesters to stop.
The police assured the protesters that the girl would be recovered soon.
In another protest rally, the Pakistan Qaumi Razakars (PQR) of the Bahlak police station staged a demonstration over non-payment of their salaries for four months.
The protestors sat at Pul Peera Chowk. PQR Company Commander Saeed Ahmad said that they had been inducted to improve performance of the police. He said the volunteers had been contributing to control crime. He said it was unfortunate that they had been deprived of their wages.
Platoon Commander Ali Abid Khan said that volunteers were not rich people. He said their had been recruited for as low as Rs2,000 per month.
Section Commander Muhammad Yousuf said that the official concerned had been reminded of the payment several times, but there had been no response. He said they have been told that there weren’t enough funds to pay them their salaries.
The protestors appealed to the chief minister and the IG to take notice of the situation.
In a yet another protest industrial workers in Rehmat Town, and their children, gathered in Faizabad and tried to force their way into the office of an MPA.
They were protesting against gas loadshedding. The protesters burnt tyres and shouted slogans against the government.
Muhammad Amjad, one of the protestors, said the government had first persuaded the people to switch over to gas connections from wood burning.
“Now they want us to switch back to burning wood for fuel,” he said.
Women protesters said kitchen hours had been multiplied by several times due to gas outages.
Mariam Mumtaz, one of the protesters, said she had started cooking breakfast at 4am to be able to get it ready by the time it was time for her children to get ready for school. She started preparing supper at 4pm, she added.
Police stopped the protesters from entering the MPA’s office.
Police assured the protesters that their issues would be taken up before the government representatives.
The demonstrators called off the protest threatening to return if the problem was not resolved in 24 hours. They said they would besiege the SNGPL office next time.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2014.
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