Premium Content

Inflation Protests Continue in AJK Despite Massive Subsidy Package Announcement

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Despite the announcement of a massive subsidy package by the Centre, protests against inflation, including high electricity tariffs, continued for the fourth day on Monday in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), resulting in violent clashes with law enforcement agencies. The protests were announced by the Awami Action Committee (AAC), and they have refused to back down despite the state and federal governments accepting “all demands” of the protesters. The AJK government issued a notification regarding subsidies for power and food commodities. However, AAC protesters continued to clash with law enforcement agencies in Muzaffarabad, leaving at least three dead and seven others injured.

The subsidy package was announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who assured the AJK people of all-out support to address their issues. AJK Premier Chaudhry Anwarul Haq welcomed the package but said that fundamental demands regarding cheap bread and electricity could not be rejected. He hoped that peace would be restored in the region after the implementation of the much-anticipated notifications.

The subsidies announced by the government include a reduction in the flour price from Rs3,100 to Rs2,000 per 40 kilogrammes. Prices for electricity usage between 1-100 units will be Rs3 per unit, usage between 100-300 units will be Rs5 per unit, and for the 300 above slab, it will be Rs6 per unit. Commercial rates of electricity have been fixed at Rs10 per unit for 1-300 unit slab, and for the slab of 300 or above, the rate has been fixed at Rs15 per unit.

Despite the notification of subsidies and the government’s assurances, AAC protesters continued their march on Muzaffarabad, refusing to go home. The AAC called for a shutter down and wheel-jam strike across the state to protest the electricity price hike and taxes. A sub-inspector was killed, while dozens of other policemen and protesters got injured during the teargas shelling by the police and stone pelting by the demonstrators. The violent protesters damaged multiple vehicles, including a magistrate’s car on the Poonch-Kotli road. Moreover, markets, trade centres, offices and, schools and restaurants remained closed across the AJK.

The government of AJK called in the Rangers and AJK police after clashes between the police and protesters erupted in Mirpur during demonstrations that killed a cop and injured more than 70 others a couple of days ago. Police also launched a crackdown against the protesters after the events of violence, arresting dozens of individuals in the AJK capital. The situation escalated when the protesters and police clashed, resulting in the death of three people and injuries to several others.

Although the government has issued notifications regarding the subsidies for power and food commodities, the protests and the violence continue, causing concern among the people. Prime Minister Shehbaz has expressed deep concerns over the violent clashes between the AJK police and the protesters and urged all parties to resort to peaceful courses of action for the resolution of their demands.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Videos