Hundreds of people staged a protest demonstration in Gujranwala on Thursday after three children died from electric shocks.
The demonstrators blocked the GT Road and shouted slogans against Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) staff.
On Wednesday, Zaheer Ahmad, a resident of Shahbaz Colony, had taken his three children; Qasim, 9, Kainat, 7, and Raina, 6; to a relative’s house in Khayali. The children were playing in the street when they touched an electricity pole. The children received fatal shocks and died on the spot. The funerals of the three children were held in Khayali on Thursday.
Residents of the area and the children’s family protested against the Gepco staff for failing to repair the electricity pole, which, they said, had caused the children’s death. The protesters clashed with police and blocked the traffic on the road by burning tyres. They said police had not taken anyone into custody over the deaths.
CCPO Waqas Nazeer assured the protesters that their demands would be accepted. The protest was then called off. Taking notice of the deaths, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered the Gujranwala district coordination officer (DCO) to submit a report.
A case was registered against Gepco employees on the complaint of Ahmad in Saddar police. The Gepco administration has suspended three of its employees from duty. A three-member inquiry committee has also been formed to investigate the incident. Chief engineer Zahoor Ahmed will head the committee.
The Gepco chief executive said that action would be taken against any employee whose negligence had caused the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2014.