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Complete shutter-down, wheel-jam strike observed in Punjab.

ISLAMABAD, July 21, 2009 (Balochistan Times) -- A complete wheel jam and shutter down strike was observed across Punjab on Tuesday against the load-shedding and hike in petroleum prices. Business activities came to standstill and public transport remained off the roads in all the small and major cities in the province. The strike was observed on the call given by Anjuman-e-Tajiran president Haji Maqsood Butt against the unannounced load shedding and increase in the petroleum price hike, which was also joined by transports associations. Protest demonstrations were held at various parts of the province where the angry mobs set on fire tyres to block the roads and to vent their anger. The protestors were carrying banners inscribed with slogans against the federal government for its failure to overcome the menace of load-shedding which was not only playing havoc with their business activities but have also made their lives miserable. Protesters turned violent in Jang, Kabir Wala and Lahore, where a complete shutter down and wheel jam strike was observed. The incidents of ransacking shops, defying strike call, were also reported at scattered places. In Jang the agitators set on fire five bogies of train at the Railway station, two police mobiles and DCO office. The protestors alleged that they were facing load shedding of 18 to 20 hours daily. In Lahore, a protest demonstration was held at Sabzi Mandi. There are reports of attacks and breaking of windowpane of the shops by the demonstrators which were opened against the strike call. In Kabirwala the angry protestors attacked the Wapda office, ransacked the building and later set ablaze the furniture and office record. The shopkeepers alleged that they were being intimidated and harassed for violating the strike call and demanded of the government to ensure protection to their lives and property. President Anjuman-e-Tajiran president Haji Maqsood Butt talking to newsmen termed the wheel jam and shutter down strike across the Punjab a complete success. Business activities in Punjab has came to stand still as the people responded their strike call positively, he said. He said there was complete peace in Lahore and denied reports of hurling threats to those defying the strike. He however, threatened that he traders would force to give a country wide strike call if menace of load shedding is eliminated with in next five to six days. Complete strike was also observed in Rawalpindi and Islamabad where business centres were kept close and public transport remained off the road causing inconvenience to the commuters travelling between the two cities. There was low attendance in the public and private offices due to non availability of transport as the people opted to stay at home in the hot sultry weather.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 21, 2009
Words:453
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