GUJRANWALA - Scores of people, mainly workers and labourers, protesting against unannounced electricity loadshedding in the city on Saturday went berserk when law enforcers used force to quell them from the busiest Grand Trunk (GT) Road.
Taken out from Shaheenabad area, the protest rally’s participants squatted on the main thoroughfare, blocking it to all types of traffic for more than four hours.
The industrial sector in Gujranwala has been adversely impacted by power cuts that last up to 18 hours over a day. For about one week, the city has been paralysed by the worst ever power outages, prompting massive lay-offs in the region.
The police personnel seemed helpless although they made use of batons and teargas shells on the demonstrators, after their three-hour efforts for negotiation failed. As the policemen charged the protesters with batons, the situation tensed up. The protesters repulsed the attack with stones. According to witnesses, gunshots were also heard, as either side resorted to aerial firing. The tussle continued till dusk when the law enforcers at last succeeded in restoring traffic. Dozens of the protesters were taken into custody. Many police vehicles were damaged.