FAISALABAD/PESHAWAR - Irked by prolonged crippling power outages, residents of Faisalabad took to roads on Tuesday and went on rampage, ransacking offices of Fesco in protest against the electricity loadshedding.

Carrying clubs and stones, hundreds of protesters attacked the Fesco sub-divisional office on Sheikhupura Road and ransacked all the record, furniture and windowpanes in the office.

The infuriated protestors also clashed with police who restored to aerial firing and chased the youths till their homes in response to the stone-pelting.

After ransacking the government office, the angry demonstrators turned to the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company's (FESCO) grid station and damaged furniture inside it, giving vent to their anger against the unannounced loadshedding.

The unruly mob looted several shops on the Lahore Road after hour-long hide-and-seek with armed police parties in sizzling heat.

The situation was so intense that the police had to call in additional force to control the protesters. Police used shelling to disperse the protesters who retaliated by pelting stones.

The protesters claimed that they had to endure 16 to 20 hours loadshedding on a daily basis.  They also burnt tyres and blocked several roads in the city and the police had to use baton charge to disperse them.

Finding no other way to break up the protest into streets, the law enforcers finally barged into several homes and rounded up dozens of rioters.

Meanwhile, police on Tuesday 'baton charged' residents belonging to different areas of Peshawar when they came out on roads to protest the unscheduled and prolonged electricity loadshedding in the area.

The police also resorted to aerial firing on the occasion, which injured a protesting student.

Earlier, hundreds of the loadshedding-hit protestors hailing from almost all surrounding villages, including Mashgagar, Shahab khel, Masho khel, Shaikh Muhammadi, Suliman Khel and Oach Nehir located on both sides of Kohat road (Indus Highway) in Badhber area, holding sticks in their hands thronged the main road.

The protesters led by elders of their respective areas chanted slogans against Wapda authorities for unannounced and excessive blackout in the hot weather.

They kept hurdles on the main road and blocked it for all kinds of vehicular traffic for more than six long hours. Owing to closure of main Indus Highway, long queues of vehicles were made due to which commuters faced numerous difficulties.

The protestors were of the opinion that Pesco authorities were carrying out 18 to 22 hours loadshedding, which they termed quite inhuman, illegal and against the court orders.

 Owing to excessive loadshedding, the daily routine life of people was crippled. They said that acute water shortage at homes and for prayers at mosques occurred due to loadshedding.

They also alleged that Pesco officials were involved in the theft of electricity and put the burden on people who were paying bills regularly.

The local administration held dialogue with the elders of area and assured them to effectively tackle their problems.

The protestors warned that they would again block the road for all kind of traffic unless the unannounced load shedding end.