Clashes Erupt In PoK After Cops Arrest Public Action Committee Leaders, Activities Amid Protest Against Inflation

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Clashes erupt between security forces and protestors in PoK’s Mirpur. (Image: X)

The strike called by Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JKJAAC) also witnessed tear gas shelling by the police, affecting people in homes and mosques

Businesses and normal lives were affected during a strike in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s (PoK) Muzaffarabad to protest against a police crackdown, which then  led to a tussle between security forces and demonstrators, local media reports said on Saturday.

The strike called by Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JKJAAC) also witnessed tear gas shelling by the police, affecting people in homes and mosques. Reportedly, cops’ move came after the demonstrators pelted stones.

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Protests were held in several areas of the PoK, including Samahni, Sehansa, Mirpur, Rawalakot, Khuiratta, Tattapani, Hattian Bala.

The call for Friday’s strike came was given after several leaders of the JKJAAC and activists were arrested in overnight raids from different parts of Muzaffarabad and Mirpur divisions.

The public action committee is a leading rights movement protesting the unjust taxes levied on electricity bills.

Clashes erupted between police and protestors in PoK’s Dadyal amid demonstrations against soaring inflation and power cuts on Friday. The skirmish in Mirpur district left multiple injured and prompted Pakistani authorities to impose a curfew.

Denouncing the state brutality, rights activists decried “state-sponsored violence” by Pakistani federal authorities as a tactic to enforce Section 144 and a prelude to quell protests scheduled for May 11 outside the legislative assembly in Muzaffarabad.

It was also learnt that the Chief Secretary of the PoK had written to the Secretary of the Interior Division in Islamabad, requesting as many as six civil armed forces (CAF) platoons for security.

In anticipation of the strike, the government had enforced Section 144 across PoK and announced holidays in all educational institutions on May 10 and 11.

Reportedly, the JKJAAC movement has demanded that electricity should be provided to consumers following the production cost of hydro-power in the state.

All businesses, including banks, remained closed, and traffic and vendors were off the roads in three districts of Muzaffarabad division, Dawn newspaper reported.

(With agency inputs)

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