MARDAN - Scores of people, mostly carpenters, staged a protest on Monday at Maqam Chowk to condemn excessive loadshedding in the area.

The rally was led by Haji Kareem president and Shah Khalid General Secretary of All Carpenter Association (ACA) Baghdada PPP (S) vice president Haji Humayun Khilji, and other office bearers. A number of carpenters participated in the protest rally. Protesters strongly criticised the Pesco officials for excessive loadshedding and chanted slogans against the Pesco high-ups.

The protesters started a march towards the XEN Pesco office located near police line Mardan. Police started baton-charge and used teargas against the protesters when they started throwing stones on the Pesco office and started breaking the doors, mirrors and other things in the office. As a result 15 people got injured including vice president of PPP (S) Haji Humauyn Khilji, Muqadar, Noor Mohammad, Sher Mohammad, Bahadar Sher, Samiullah, Ahmad Khan, Noor Talab, Ikram, Akbar, Ibrahim, Shamsur Rehman, Noor Hadi and Israr residents of Bagdada.

Hospital sources said that majority of the injured were discharged after first aid. Source said that city police on the complaint of XEN Pesco Mardan registered First Information Report against 32 protesters under section 324, 427, 148, 149,146, 152,153,153B, 188 and 19 MPO. Sources further said that police also arrested several protesters. Sources said that unknown persons also started firing on protesters from the Pesco office.

Meanwhile PPP (S) office bearers strongly condemned the baton charge and use of tear gas on the protesters.

Addressing a press conference, Ijaz Khan advocate, member central council, Abdur Rashid Khan district president and other office bearers said that with the convenience of ANP local leaders police is using baton charge and tear gas on peaceful protesters.

They demanded that all the registered case should be finish, government should provide financial aid to all the injure protesters and strict action should be taken against those elements who play negative role in this incident with out discrimination. They also demanded that government should register case against the ANP workers who allegedly started firing on protesters from the Pesco office.

They also demanded that judicial inquiry should be conducted of the incident. Meanwhile an emergency meeting of Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union (PWHECL) union Pesco division-I Mardan was held at Pesco office.