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Two injured as motorist opens fire at road-blocking protesters.

Byline: Afzal Ansari

KASUR -- The death of an electrician allegedly due to the negligence of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) officials sparked a protest on Wednesday on Ferozepur Road, near bypass, in the jurisdiction of the Saddar police station.

The protesters blocked Ferozepur Road by keeping the body for about two hours. When the protest was going on, a motorist opened indisdriminate firing on them to get the way cleared, leaving two protesters injured. This agitated the protesters who later ransacked several vehicles.

A heavy contingent of police arrived at the spot to control the situation.

According to protesters, Lesco officials came to village Khara to get a transformer repaired. They hired the services of local electrician Muhammad Rafiq, 28, only to avoid working in the hot weather and asked him to remove the transformer.

They alleged that the officials did not cut off power from transmission wires, and also did not provide any protective gears to Rafiq. While removing the transformer, Rafiq was electrocuted.

He was the only son of his widowed mother and the breadwinner for the family.

According to some eyewitnesses, the body of Rafiq remained stuck with live wires for few minutes.

Lesco officials fled the scene.

When the family, relatives and villagers learned about the incident, they gathered on the bypass near Khara village on Ferozepur Road to protest the incident.

They also parked tractor-trolleys on the road and chanted slogans against Lesco officials and demanded a case against them.

Meanwhile, the desperate motorist exchanged words with the protesters and later opened indiscriminate fire at them. As a result, Muhammad Shahid, 35, and Yousaf Ali, 25, suffered injuries and were rushed to the Kasur District Headquarters Hospital.

The suspect fled while the villagers smashed his car. After the firing incident, protesters ransacked various vehicles in anger, erupting clashes between the road users and agitators. Protesters also damaged plants at the green belt.

District Police Officer Abdul Ghaffar Qaisarani visited the spot and managed to pacify the charged protesters that justice would be done.

The protesters dispersed while police shifted the body of Rafique to the Kasur DHQ Hospital for autopsy.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 4, 2019
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