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AJK Leaders to Stage Protests Over Unfulfilled Demands

Leaders of a rights movement in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) have announced plans to stage protests due to the lack of action on their demands, which include reducing the prices of wheat flour and electricity. This decision comes after recent violent clashes between police and activists of the rights movement, resulting in casualties and injuries.

Sub-inspector Adnan Qureshi lost his life during the clashes in Islamgarh, where he was deployed to manage a rally organized by the Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC). The JAAC, representing traders in various parts of the state, had been advocating for electricity pricing based on hydropower generation costs, subsidized wheat flour, and an end to privileges enjoyed by the elite class.

The protests led to significant disruption, with damages to property and the closure of markets, trade centers, offices, schools, and restaurants across AJK. Although the government had initially agreed to meet the protesters’ demands, the action committee alleges a lack of progress on implementation.

In response, the action committee convened a meeting and decided to resume protests on May 27 if their demands are not addressed. They also called for the establishment of a judicial commission to investigate civilian casualties during the protests and advocated for measures such as the establishment of a national grid, load-shedding-free zones, and the implementation of court decisions on hydel projects.

Additionally, the activists demanded action on the remaining points of the government’s February 4 notification, as well as the withdrawal of cases and the release of prisoners. These developments indicate a persistent struggle for socio-economic justice and political reform in AJK.

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