LAHORE - Police fired teargas shells and wielded to batons as angry mobs took to streets and staged violent protests against 18-hour power outages across the Punjab, cursing the democratic government and paralysing routine life in various parts of the province on Saturday. Hundreds of people took to streets and staged strong protest demonstration against 18-hour power breakdown in more than 12 different parts of the Punjab Capital on Saturday. The protesters blocked the roads by setting the tyres on fire, disrupting the traffic flow across the provincial metropolis. The protesters demanded the resignation of Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and MD Pepco Tahir Basharat Cheema for the complete failure to improve power supply in the country. Massive power outages sparked violent protests in Lahore, which continued throughout Saturday as helpless consumers including traders and shopkeepers took to streets and staged anti-government protests. The demonstrators took out rallies and staged strong protest demonstrations in 12 different parts of the provincial metropolis including the Bhati Gate, Anarkali, Circular Road, Bund Road, Ravi Road, Ferozepur Road, Township, Samanabad, and Baghbanpura areas. The protesters were carrying placards and banners inscribed with demands of immediate end to loadshedding. They also chanted slogans against the government for increasing power tariff manifold and putting extra-burden on the already inflation-hit public. Hundreds of people gathered at Ravi Road and blocked the traffic by setting the tyres on fire, disrupting the traffic flow at one of the leading arteries for no less than two hours. Long queues of vehicles were witnessed in the entire locality, as the motorists remain trapped on the roads due to violent protests. Heavy police contingents reached the spot and tried to disperse the angry protesters but failed. The police later resorted to baton-charge and fired teargas shells on the protesters to resume traffic flow in the congested locality. The protesters said that the so-called democratic government has badly failed to address the genuine problems being faced by the people. They were chanting anti-government slogans like, Death to democracy, thieves in government, Go Zardari Go, and Dacoits government unacceptable. A local TV channel showed people were chanting full throat slogans, Chief Teray Janisar Bray Khawar Bray Khawar. A great number of people turned violent, staged strong protests in Sanda area and blocked the roads by setting the tyres on fire. The situation became worse as the police wielded to batons on the angry protesters who in retaliation pelted the police with stones, turning the entire vicinity into battlefield. The motorists who were leaving for other cities remain trapped at Bund Road for two hours as the violent clashes disrupted the traffic flow and cut off road links of the City with other districts. The protesters also set the electricity bills on fire and demanded of the government to immediately end the power outages. Hundreds of local residents from Lohari, Bhati and Mochi Gates and Urdu Bazaar gathered at Circular Road on Saturday and staged strong protest demonstration against loadshedding. The protesters chanted slogans against the government. They also blocked the road by setting the tyres on fire. The protests also led to worst traffic mess in the congested locality as the police diverted the traffic flow towards the already packed routes. Heavy police contingents reached the spot to maintain law and order. Meanwhile, the traders of Urdu Bazaar took out protest rally and staged demonstration against the massive loadshedding. They were carrying placards and banners inscribed with anti-Wapda and anti-government slogans. The traders said that massive power outages have destroyed the business activities in the City and due to the excessive loadshedding the businessmen have been left with no other option but to close down industrial units. President Anjuman-e-Tajran Urdu Bazaar Khalid Pervaiz gave 72-hours ultimatum to the government to improve power supply and said that if the government failed to end loadshedding till April 13, the traders would observe shutterdown strike across the City. Reportedly, hundreds of people staged violent protesters in several districts of the Punjab province including Sahiwal, Kasur, Okara, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Burewala, Vehari, Narowal, Faisalabad, Pindi Bhattian and Jaranwala.