MALAKAND/ SWABI/ HANGU/ PESHAWAR/ CHARSADDA:
After the husband of an MPA allegedly assaulted Local Council Board Secretary Attaur Rehman on Wednesday, the Local Government Employees Federation protest call saw results across the province on Thursday.
Over a transfer
According to Rehman, Israel Shah beat him up, with the help of a guard, at Rehman’s office in Hayatabad Phase VII. Rehman lodged an FIR saying Israel Shah had asked him to transfer a man. However, when Rehman did not comply, Shah came to his office with another man, locked the door and attacked him. “They left soon after, leaving me in a critically injured condition,” he stated in the FIR.
Rehman was later taken to Hayatabad Medical Complex where his condition was said to be stable.
Israel Shah is the husband of Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan’s provincial assembly member Khatoon Bibi.
A delegation of local government employees locked up their offices and boycotted work in Peshawar on Thursday. Members of the United Municipal Workers Union, Provincial Government Union Federation and district council workers participated in the protests, which included a sit-in in front of the K-P Assembly.
Protesters blocked traffic on one side near Jinnah Park, Peshawar and chanted slogans against the government. They later demonstrated in front of the assembly.
They demanded the arrest of Israel Shah and threatened to stop the supply of water and suspend other municipal services if Shah and his accomplice are not arrested.
Without municipal services, the city remained without hygiene maintenance.
Meanwhile, workers of Charsadda district council and municipal committee also held a demonstration and demanded strict punishment for Shah.
The protestors set tyres on fire at Farooq Azam Chowk and chanted slogans against the provincial government.
Addressing the protesters, Charsadda district council’s president, Shad Khan, said the incident happened because Rehman refused to accept unjustifiable demands made by the MPA’s husband.
“If the provincial government fails to take action, we will be compelled to stop providing municipal services across Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa,”he added.
Municipal workers here announced an indefinite strike starting Thursday till the fulfilment of their demands—the arrest of Shah. A rally was held at Swabi Municipal Committee Hall. Some of the protesters could be seen sporting black arm bands.
A leader of one of the workers federations, Shaukat Ali Anjum, addressed the crowd and condemned the “attempted murder”. A pen-down strike will be observed across K-P if their demands are not met, said Anjum.
Similarly, workers in Batkhela also threatened a pen-down strike if Shah and his accomplice are not arrested. Chief Municipal Officer Hamid Islam asked the provincial government to protect “honest employees” by taking action against such incidents.
Meanwhile, municipal committee workers in Barikot also held a demonstration. They threated to turn violent if the K-P government does not take the incident seriously.
In Hangu, under the banner of All Employees Union, Tufail Ahmed led a protest outside Hangu Press Club. The protesters demanded suspending Khatoon Bibi’s provincial assembly membership. They blocked GT Road for traffic and threated to suspect work in Hangu, Thal and Doaba if their demands remain ignored.
They demanded the chief minister, chief justice, K-P Assembly speaker and IGP take action or else they will boycott work on street lights, water supply, fire brigade services and other municipal services.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2014.
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