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Woman dies in Karachi protests against loadshedding

Clashes erupt between the police and the demonstrators on Tuesday when the officials try to restore traffic on roads.

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A wave of public protests broke out across the city on Tuesday as thousands of people took to the streets in many localities to demonstrate their frustration against K-Electric. Riots and clashes between protestors and police broke out in the city as a result of the prolonged loadshedding and frequent breakdowns in the midst of the excessively humid and hot weather.

Violent protests broke out at around 18 localities which left many people injured and a 60 year old woman Meeran Bibi dead. Protestors blamed KE for keeping their supply off for about 15 continuous hours. Protesters shouted against KE and burnt old tyres on roads.

Large gathering of protestors were reported in Liaquatabad, Landhi, Saddar, Lucky Star, Malir, Saudabad, Korangi, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Gharibabad, Korangi Crossing and many neighbourhoods of Scheme 33.

Read more: Karachiites protest against prolonged load-shedding

Police fired tear gas shells to disperse the protestors but it further aggravated the situation in Lyari. During the protest Meraan Bibi fell and died, Edhi foundation spokesperson told media. However police rejected the claims of any use of force against the deceased.

SP City said the deceased was aged 70 and died a natural death. “Negotiations are underway for the autopsy of the deceased.”

Following the failure of negotiations between locals and authorities to reopen the road, the police used baton charges and tear gas to reopen traffic flow on the main artery that connects Karachi Port Trust and the SITE industrial region.

The deputy commissioner of South was also contacted in order to “cool down” the demonstrators and maintain control of the situation, according to the City SSP.

The Mauripur Road has been consistently closed since Monday for about 15-20 hours, according to DIG-South Sharjeel Kharal, who claimed that this forced the police to act. To get the road closed, police and rangers took action. He stated that the police would investigate into the woman’s death if the heirs requested an investigation or a FIR.

Read more: Petroleum Minister vows to end load-shedding

Reacting to the use of force against protestors fomer federal minister and PTI leader Chaudry Fawad Hussain tweeted “I want to tell Karachi police not to resort to violence against the protesters against load shedding, the protest is absolutely legitimate, it is your own people, you are also going through the same torment.” He also added that Zardari and Murad Shah’s followers cannot assess this pain.