Jul 5, 2011

2 killed as protesters clash with police in Mianwali, 30, including Mianwali DPO, DCO, injured

* Complete strike observed in city on the call of Tehreek Haqooq-e-Mianwali

MIANWALI/LAHORE: At least two people were killed and more than 30 wounded on Monday when police opened fire to disperse thousands furiously protesting against crippling power outages in Mianwali, officials said.

A crowd of about 8,000 people took to the streets in Mianwali and some later attacked government buildings, shops and pelted police with stones, Muhammad Waqas Nazir, city police chief, told AFP. Police charged the crowd with batons and lobbed tear gas shells to quell a mob who had smashed billboards and attacked vehicles, he said. “Police opened fire after they failed to quell the mob heading towards the main Chashma power plant,” the official said.

“They were violent, pelting police with stones. Their number kept on increasing,” Nazir said, adding that the protesters were trying to besiege the plant near the city, demanding an end to load shedding. At least 32 people were wounded, including 20 police officials. At least two persons were killed due to firing by police on the protesters. In retaliation people threw stones on police, which also injured the DPO and DCO.

According to details, Tehreek-e-Haqooq Mianwali gave the call to hold long march against unscheduled and lengthy load shedding and over-billing. Different political parties and organisations of the city also supported the call. On Monday, thousands of people gathered at Jahaz Chowk and staged a sit-in and chanted slogans against government. The traders also observed a complete shutter-down strike on the occasion.

Afterwards they marched towards Chashma Nuclear Power Plant, but police tried to prevent them forcibly. The protesters did not care for the police and continued their march past. On that police used baton charge and teargas shells to disperse them away.

The streets of the city turned into battlefield when in reprisal, the angry mob pelted stones towards police party on which law enforcers reacted harshly and opened firing on the protestors resulted killing of two persons. agencies

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