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Shopkeepers violently protest blackouts

By Naeem Ashraf Butt LAHORE: Shopkeepers across the Punjab vented their anger in a strike and protest against the lack of electricity and high petrol prices Tuesday. In Lahore, seven policemen were injured and 15 protestors were arrested after the protest turned violent on Mall Road. In Jhang, a mob set four bogeys of a...

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 21, 2009 | Last Updated: 12 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jul 21, 2009 | Last Updated: 12 years ago
Shopkeepers violently protest blackouts

By Naeem Ashraf Butt

LAHORE: Shopkeepers across the Punjab vented their anger in a strike and protest against the lack of electricity and high petrol prices Tuesday.

In Lahore, seven policemen were injured and 15 protestors were arrested after the protest turned violent on Mall Road. In Jhang, a mob set four bogeys of a train on fire.

Shops stayed closed in from Sargodha to Bahawalnagar, Toba Tek Singh to Sahiwal.

In Lahore, men armed with sticks and stones smashed the windows of some of the shops that stayed open on Mall Road. More rival group violence broke out after a shop belonging to a Pakistan Peoples Party leader Sohail Butt was attacked.

A group of women, who said they were fed up with the rolling blackouts, turned up after hearing about the strike and burnt tires on the roads. They said they were not affiliated with the shopkeepers’ unions but wanted to express their frustration with the electricity shortages.

The protest was organized by one union called the Anjuman-e Tajiran-e Pakistan. But their efforts were feebly resisted by another, government-backed union, the Qaumi Tajir Ittehad. “You cannot make this strike fail by keep a few shops open,” declared Maqsood Butt of the Anjuman-e Tajiran-e Pakistan. He denied, however, that his union had been violent. “We are not using violent means, there are some forces which are trying to turn this peaceful strike into a violent one,” he claimed. SAMAA

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