Rangers called in as protests against inflation, taxes enter 3rd day in AJK


MUZAFFARABAD – The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government called in the Rangers to deal with the protesters who took to streets against taxes.

The development comes after clashes between the police and protestors erupted in Mirpur that killed a policeman and injured over 70.

On the call of Awami Action Committee (AAC), the protest against high electricity bills and taxes entered the third day.

A strike is continuing to implement a 10-point charter of demands, bringing life to a standstill. Public transport, shops, markets, and commercial centers are closed.

Long March continues 

The public action committee has organised a long march from Mirpur, Bhimber, and Kotli towards the capital Muzaffarabad, which is continuing on the second day. Despite obstacles set up by the government, all convoys managed to enter the boundaries of Muzaffarabad. 

Clashes occurred between the police and protesters. ASP Mirpur Khawar Ali and Assistant Commissioner Dadayal Sardar Rizwan were injured by protesters’ stone-throwing. Tension persists in all districts, including Muzaffarabad.

Internet service disrupted 

Internet service throughout Azad Kashmir, including the Mirpur Division, has been disrupted since last night, causing difficulties for residents to communicate.

Rangers deployed

To deal with violent protests, the Azad Kashmir government has deployed Rangers. Rangers will immediately take charge of protecting the legislative assembly, supreme court, high court, and other important government properties. 

Following clashes between the police and protesters yesterday, the government decided to deploy Rangers. Ranger vehicles have entered Azad Kashmir’s boundaries via Kohala Bridge.

Funeral prayers for martyred Inspector Police Adnan Qureshi offered at the Quaid-e-Azam Stadium. Inspector Police Adnan Qureshi was martyred during the protests when he was hit by a bullet in the chest.

Govt did not use force: PM

Prime Minister Azad Kashmir Chaudhry Anwar-ul-Haq, in a press conference, stated that since the first day of our government, we have been striving to provide relief to the citizens. We consider ourselves bound by the agreement with the Public Action Committee, he added. 

Despite the martyrdom of our police officer, the government ensured that no innocent suffered, refraining from using force and demonstrating tolerance. 

“Propaganda is being spread on social media. The government has not backed down from negotiations. I invite representatives of the Public Action Committee for negotiations. We are willing to provide relief in electricity and flour. We will have to sacrifice development funds. The demands related to the Pakistani government will be raised in front of the federal government,” he added.

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