Saturday, 5 March 2011
Karachi, Pakistan - Fuel dealers' strike leads to violent protests with pro-revolution slogans
01.03.2011 - KARACHI, Feb 28: Police and Rangers resorted to a baton charge and fired teargas shells and warning shots to disperse dozens of protesters, who took to the roads in different parts of the city on Monday when they were denied petrol at fuel stations due to a petroleum dealers’ strike, police and witnesses said.
The violent episodes on Sharea Faisal, the Rashid Minhas Road intersection with Stadium Road and Nazimabad forced the political leadership to intervene, causing petroleum dealers to call off the strike.
Earlier, the hour-long standoff between the police, along with the paramilitary Rangers, and charged protesters caused traffic jams on major roads and panic in the neighbouring residential areas amid frequent gunshots and teargas shelling.
The protest emerged as a spontaneous reaction by the drivers of private and public transport against the closure of petrol stations, as several drivers despite their desperate attempts could not fuel their vehicles and had to abandon the vehicles on roads.
Quite a few of them were heard chanting pro-revolution slogans at almost all the demonstration sites.
“There must be hundreds of vehicles which piled up in less than an hour outside petrol pumps on Sharea Faisal between Colony Gate and Natha Khan bus stops,” said Asad Masood, a motorcyclist who was stranded along with many others on the thoroughfare after running short of fuel.
“A few ambulances were also seen stuck, which provoked some charged youngsters into chanting slogans against the government and petroleum dealers and blockade the road.”
Posted by sysiphus at 13:24