Huge protests in PoK over taxes, inflation turn violent as cops crackdown

Protests against heavy taxation, high inflation, and electricity shortages turned violent as police crackdown on demonstrators in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s capital Muzaffarabad. Clashes broke out between law enforcement and protesters in Dadyal, Mirpur, and other parts of PoK, including Samahni, Sehansa, Rawalakot, Khuiratta, Tattapani, and Hattian Bala.

The shutter-down and wheel-jam strike in Muzaffarabad called by the Jammu and Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JKJAAC), also saw police resort to teargas shelling and firing bullets in the air.

The Awami Action Committee called for the protest, demanding tax-free electricity from the Mangla Dam and subsidies on wheat flour. The strike was catalyzed by overnight police raids resulting in the arrests of numerous leaders and activists.

The committee had previously announced plans for a long march towards Muzaffarabad on May 11.

The Pakistani administration had tried to crush the planned protests by deploying additional troops from the Pakistan Rangers and Frontier Corps and with the arrest of the activists.

Pakistanis have been reeling under back-breaking inflation, worsened by the stringent conditions imposed by the International Monetary Fund while approving a $3-billion financial assistance package. The increase in electricity charges added to the problems, and people in Pakistan have been forced to take to the streets.

Published By:

Shweta Kumari

Published On:

May 12, 2024

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