Saturday, May 18th, 2024

PoJK: Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee announces closed strike after police action

The Jammu and Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee has announced that it will hold a “shutter-down and wheel-jam” strike in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) today, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.

This came after police allegedly detained over 70 activists for blocking a ‘long march’ announced by the Jammu and Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee to call on the government to abide by the agreement signed between the two in February. Announced the decision.

According to Dawn report, the Public Action Committee is leading a rights movement to protest against the ‘unjust’ taxes imposed on electricity bills and called for a strike over the taxes in August 2023.

The protesters demand that electricity should be provided to consumers as per the production cost of hydropower in PoJK. After months of protests, a ministerial committee vowed that the cost would be worked out “because the government was committed to providing relief to its people.”

Earlier in April, the committee had announced that they would hold a march in Muzaffarabad on May 11 to protest against “non-fulfillment of commitments” made in writing by an official reconciliation committee of cabinet members on December 23, 2023. As per Dawn report, a notification was issued on February 4, 2024.

On Thursday, police in Muzaffarabad raided the residence of traders’ elected leader Shaukat Nawaz Mir and several other members of the Action Committee. Eight committee members, including two student leaders, were detained during these raids.

The clashes followed an overnight raid in Mirpur’s Dadiyal by more than a dozen activists following a protest by traders at Maqbool Butt Shaheed Chowk. Police used teargas against the protesters, which also landed in a school, injuring several girls, Dawn reported.

The traders pelted stones at the police. In response to the action, Nawaz Mir released a video message from a hideout, saying that the protest scheduled for 11 May would now take place on 10 May due to the “brutal attitude” of the authorities in Dadiyal. (ANI)

Earlier, the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) and the Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC) had issued a serious warning to the administration against the use of any brutal force against the peaceful protesters.

Both parties have issued a warning that they will organize international protests and demonstrations if the administration uses any force against the protesters who are raising their legitimate demands.

At present, personnel of Frontier Corps, Rangers and Quick Response Force (QRF) of Punjab province are on the roads of the area. According to a joint statement issued by UKPNP and JAAC, the protesters are protesting against unfair taxation, high electricity bills, uncontrolled inflation, severe shortage of essential commodities like flour.

In addition, the people also demand ownership of local land and water resources and royalties to the local people on hydroelectric power produced in dams located in PoJK and Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan.

UKPNP Chairman Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri and former JAAC spokesperson Sardar Nasir Aziz Khan said that despite billions of dollars being sent annually by Kashmiri migrants for the development of PoJK and PoGB, the people of these areas are suffering from severe underdevelopment.

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