Food inflation fuels anti-government protests in Pakistan occupied Kashmir

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jan 15, 2021, 11.31 PM(IST)

A protest was organised on January 13 by the Action Committee in Rawalakot against the removal of subsidy on wheat flour. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

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. 

Huge price hike of food grains is one of the serious problems plaguing Imran Khan’s ‘Naya Pakistan'. Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) has witnessed mass protests for the past few months over the skyrocketing prices in the region. 

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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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