Protests Against ‘Huge Bills & Erratic Power Supply’ Turns Violent

KL Report

Srinagar

Several people were injured in Kannelwan area of South Kashmir’s Bijbehara town when police allegedly resorted to tear gas shelling and lathi charge to disperse the villagers protesting against shortage of electricity in the area.bijli

Eyewitnesses told CNS that people from Kannelwan village assembled in large numbers and protested against shortage of electricity in the area. They were also alleging that Power Development Department has dispatched them ‘fatty bills’ and they are surprised that how the department can charge them huge bills when there is no electricity in the area.

Reports said that a huge contingent of police reached the spot and asked the protesters to disperse. However, they refused after which police resorted to baton charge, and lobbed tear gas shells to quell the protesters. Several people sustained injuries and were rushed to Bijbehara Hospital for treatment.

Eyewitnesses said police stopped a biker Wakil Ahmed Wani son of Ghulam Mohammad Wani from Wularhama Pahalgam and thrashed him mercilessly. “Policemen hit his head with gun buts and he was immediately shifted to SKIMS,” one of the protestors told CNS.

Protestors blamed SDPO Bijbehara for using force on the peaceful protestors without any provocation.

“We were addressing our problems to Tehsildar Abdul Rashid of the area and without any provocation police charged on us with lathi’s and gun buts,” they said. Tehsildar got also injured during the clashes.

The agitated protestors later on resorted to stone pelting and the clashed between the police and protestors continued for hours.

Some of the injured have been identified as Saleeqa Bano, Imram Ahmed Tantray, Shafia Jan, Irsahd Ahmed Shah and Shabir Ahmed Shah.

“The power supply in our area has been totally erratic and the Power Development Department (PDD) does not even follow their own schedule,” said the villagers. They said that for last one month their village is completely reeling under darkness.

The locals accused the police of using force on the peaceful protesters.

“We were protesting peacefully and were even not hampering the movement of vehicles but the police unnecessarily used force on us,” the locals said. They alleged the police did not even spare women and children and beat them too.

Sub Divisional Police Officer, Bijbehara Sreedhar Patil denied using any force. “The protesters were blocking the traffic and though we tried to convince them but they did not budge after which we had to resort to mild lathi-charge to disperse them and restore the traffic,” he told CNS adding that protestors pelted stones even on Tehsildar who got injured while the police had no option but to react.

Meanwhile, Additional Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, Ghulam Mohammad Dar visited the spot and assured people that prompt action will be taken against policemen if it was proved that they used force on peaceful protestors without any provocation.

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