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Karachi protests over load shedding lead to arrests: K-Electric files case against demonstrators

A protest over persistent load shedding in Karachi turned chaotic as local residents clashed with authorities and damaged property. The protest, which took place outside the K Electric office in Liaquatabad, led to multiple arrests and the filing of a legal case by the city’s primary electricity provider, K Electric.

The Protest

Frustrated by the ongoing power outages, residents of Liaquatabad gathered in large numbers outside the K Electric office. The protest started peacefully but soon escalated as the angered crowd began shouting slogans and demanding immediate action to resolve the power crisis that has plagued their neighborhood for weeks.

As tempers flared, some protesters resorted to vandalism, breaking windows of K Electric vehicles parked near the office. The situation quickly spiraled out of control, prompting the involvement of law enforcement.

Police Response and Arrests

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Central Zeeshan Siddiqui stated that a case has been registered against the protesters based on a complaint filed by K Electric. The charges include rioting and other related offenses.

“Given the severity of the situation and the damage caused, we had no option but to take action. Raids are being conducted to identify and arrest those responsible, as seen in the video footage. Many individuals have already been detained,” said SSP Siddiqui.

The police are using video evidence to identify more suspects involved in the protest. The swift action by the authorities highlights the seriousness with which they are treating this incident, given the potential for such protests to escalate further if left unchecked.

Community Backlash

In response to the arrests, residents from the FC area staged a protest outside the Sharifabad police station. The demonstrators, which included family members of those detained, voiced their opposition to the case filed by K Electric and demanded the release of the arrested individuals.

“We are protesting the unfair detention of our family members. They were only voicing their frustrations over the unbearable load shedding. Criminalizing their actions is unjust,” said a local resident.

The protesters outside the police station argue that their actions were driven by necessity, as they have been facing long hours without electricity in the scorching summer heat. They claim that the power cuts have disrupted their daily lives, affecting everything from household chores to small businesses.

The Load Shedding Crisis

Karachi has been experiencing severe load shedding, with some areas facing power outages lasting up to 12 hours a day. The residents of Liaquatabad and other affected areas have been vocal about their grievances, citing the impact on their quality of life and economic activities.

K Electric, the city’s sole electricity provider, has attributed the power cuts to a combination of increased demand due to the summer heat and technical issues within the grid. Despite these explanations, the residents feel that the utility company has not done enough to address the problem or communicate effectively about the steps being taken to resolve it.

Legal and Social Implications

The legal actions taken against the protesters and the subsequent arrests have sparked a debate about the balance between maintaining law and order and addressing the legitimate concerns of the public. While the authorities emphasize the need to prevent vandalism and maintain public order, the residents argue that their actions were a desperate cry for help in the face of unresponsive service providers.

This incident highlights the growing tension between utility companies and consumers in Karachi, exacerbated by infrastructural challenges and the city’s burgeoning population. As the legal process unfolds, it remains to be seen how the authorities and K Electric will address the underlying issues that led to the protest.

In the meantime, the residents of Liaquatabad and other affected areas continue to grapple with the reality of intermittent power supply, hoping for a swift and effective resolution to the load shedding crisis.

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