Muzaffarabad [PoK], August 4 (ANI): People in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been strongly protesting in the past few months over the increasingly cruel imposition of taxes on electricity bills.
Hundreds of people are coming out of the streets to express anger against load shedding across the region. What started as matters concerning the power crisis, has now become theft of the public's hard-earned money by the Pakistani authorities.
People are facing massive power cuts in different parts of PoK that stretch to about 18 hours a day. Protests called by students and political wings are put down using brute force.
This large-scale protest comes as Pakistan plans to reduce the duration of load shedding from hours long to two hours by the end of this month. Islamabad continues to blame the energy crisis due to the spike in global oil prices.
Earlier, the Awami Action Committee had called for a strike that was thwarted by the police force. The police lathi-charged the protesters, in which people were seriously injured. One person also lost his hand on the spot. The lathi charge was strongly condemned by the rights groups.
Last week, human rights activist Shaukat Ali Kashmiri accused the Pakistani state agency of torturing the resident of PoK.
Raising concerns about the rights situation in the region, the chairman of the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) asked for the legitimate right to protest for the people of the region.
Earlier in July, protests led to injuries to dozens of youth in the Poonch area of PoK after security forces fired indiscriminately at them.
An incident which took place on July 18 led to the arrest of dozens of protestors who were booked under terror law, according to media reports.
Massive protests are commonplace across PoK over high inflation and denial of basic human rights by the Pakistani authorities.
The people in PoK are denied basic rights. On a daily basis, they face numerous challenges like high inflation, poor education and health facilities. Raising their voice against Pakistani authorities leads to brutal force from security agencies that take no time to muzzle dissent.
Earlier, dozens of angry residents in several parts of PoK blocked roads over Islamabad's harsh policies that are reportedly hurting the economic interest of locals.
PoK's four million residents have never been allowed to speak a word and address their political and socio-economic grievances. (ANI)