KARACHI  - The Karachi chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Saturday staged at least 50 demonstrations at various points in the city against the Karachi Electric (KE) and the crackdown on the party headquarters by the Sindh police.  

It is pertinent to mention here that Jamaat-e-Islami has initiated a protest drive against the K-Electric and scheduled a sit-in to record its protest against KE’s excessive tariff, overcharging and other polices. Just before the sit-in, the situation went violent as police cordoned off the JI headquarters on Friday, March 31, and arrested scores of JI workers and leaders, including chief of its Karachi chapter.  

To condemn Friday’s incident and KE’s “anti-people” policies, the JI remained on the streets on Saturday and staged demonstrations at Water Pump Roundabout, Five Star Roundabout, Gol Market-Nazimabad, Nala Stop-New Karachi, UP Mor-North Karachi, Taiser Town, Ayub Goth, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony, Rab Medical Gulshan Garden, Punjab Colony, Landhi, Korangi and several other places. The main demonstration was staged at Numaish Chowrangi. At the demonstration, the participants were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans against KE, Nepra and the ruling party in Sindh. They also chanted slogans against the provincial government for not allowing the JI to protest against the private power company. 

Addressing the protesters, JI Sindh chief Mirajul Huda Siddiqui strongly condemned the arrest of JI workers and said the government could not deny the citizens their right to protest. “We are on roads to protest the anti-people policies of K-Electric. The police tyranny and abuse of power cannot deter JI’s protest drive,” he said, adding that peaceful rallies and protests were democratic right of the people. 

He asked the provincial government to take notice of atrocities against Karachiites instead of blocking the protest. He demanded that the Sindh chief minister take notice of the excesses of K-Electric and provide relief to the citizens of the mega city against oppressive loadshedding.  

He said that during the campaign his party approached the Nepra, government officials and judiciary for resolution of the loadshedding issue facing the residents of Karachi. It is unfortunate that Nepra did not respond in this regard and proved itself hand in glove with KE. This forced the party to launch agitation, he added. 

Meanwhile, JI Sectary General Liaqat Baloch announced a sit-in outside the K-Electric head offices on April 7 and demanded that rulers take action against the police personnel who opened fire on the protesters at Shahrah-e-Faisal on Friday evening.  

He made this announcement while addressing a press conference at Idara Noor-e-Haq. JI Sindh chief Mirajul Huda Siddiqui, Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, Dr Usama Razi, Abdul Wahab, Zahid Askari and others were also present on the occasion. 

Speaking to the media men, Liaqat Baloch strongly condemned the police shelling and firing on the party workers during the protest and vowed to raise the issue on the assembly floor. He said that during Friday’s protest against K-Electric at least seven of the JI workers got injured by police shelling and firing. Two workers were in critical condition. He asked the Sindh governor to take notice of the issue and play his role in resolving the issue. On the occasion, JI Karachi chief Naeemur Rehman said that atrocities against Karachiites would not be tolerated anymore. He said that KE would have to return Rs200 billion to its consumers because it collected this amount from them illegally. The sit-in will be a show of public outrage against the government, Nepra and KE, Naeem said.