Massive clashes erupt in PoK after protest against high inflation turns violent

Poonch: Clashes between the civilians and police erupted here in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) after a protest against high inflation turned violent with the arrest of local leaders.

A protest was organised on January 13 by the Action Committee in Rawalakot against the removal of subsidy on wheat flour. However, the police had arrested local leaders before the planned protest that caused a furore among the residents.

On Wednesday evening, the angry protesters clashed with the police and set ablaze a police station, and destroyed police vehicles in the Azad Pattan area. Police also resorted to firing and lathi-charge on protesters injuring several of them.

A protester said: “The arrest is a conspiracy to weaken our protest. Our movement is very peaceful for the rights of the people. It is against rising inflation and unemployment. It is about the demand for a good education. However, they are carrying atrocities on us. Our friends from the Action Committee, Rawalakot, who were raising voice against a hike in the price of flour, were picked up by the police. What was their fault?”

Another protester said: “We were peacefully organising this protest, but the authorities have taken inappropriate action and arrested our friends in Rawalakot. We condemn this act. We want to warm the authorities as if they were not released, there will be a massive protest in the Poonch division”.

Locals claim that this is a regular feature in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and in the name of civil rights Pakistan government is abusing them.

The people in the occupied region are fed-up due high-handedness of Islamabad and forcing people to face challenges in meeting their daily requirements.

There have been protests for the past several weeks against high inflation, but the local government and Islamabad are paying no heed to their concerns.