Police Open Fires At Protesters In PoK’s Rawalakot, Several Injured

Police opened fire and used tear gas on protesters in the Thorar area of Rawalakot district of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Monday night.

At least five protesters were taken to the local hospital after they were injured. A video that surfaced on the internet purportedly showed the incident wherein several rounds of fire by the police.
“We are not going to leave this spot no matter if they call the police forces. We are ready to die. Police have opened fire and tear gas on us,” said one of the protesters.

This violent incident comes as the locals in the area are holding protests against more than 20 hours of load shedding in the region. They are also calling for a reduction in the skyrocketing electricity prices.

In previous incidents, they had blocked the road and demanded the release of the locals who were arrested by the police earlier.

PoK produces over 2000 MW of electricity and the total need of POJK is just 380 MW and still, Pakistan doesn’t give electricity to the occupied region.

Besides this, electricity price is higher in PoK as compared to regions that consume much of the electricity generated in PoK.

Last week, dozens of people came out on the streets to express their concerns over the heavy load shedding and high electricity bills and called on the government to provide immediate relief.

Pakistan Occupied Kashmir produces more than 4000 MW of electricity and yet it does not get enough power to meet its needs. Consequently, the people in the region are forced to dwell in darkness.

Earlier this month, dozens of angry residents in several parts of PoK blocked roads over harsh policies imposed by Islamabad that are 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.

Its high unemployment rate, poor infrastructure, and lack of resources force its citizens to migrate to large cities of Pakistan where they are only allowed menial jobs as labourers, cleaners at hotels, drivers, etc.

Pakistan is unable to provide the bare minimum amenities to keep people alive in its colonized state, reported Asian Lite International.

The difference in allocation of funds as well as development projects in Kashmir – PoK and Kashmir amply describes the tale of two Kashmirs.

At the beginning of this fiscal year, India presented a USD 13.33 billion budget for the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory. New Delhi allocates nearly five times more funds to J&K than Islamabad allocates for PoK. (ANI)

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