KARACHI - The police on Saturday used batons and water canon on transporters and CNG association office-bearers in their protest against expected price-hike of CNG.    

At least 27 representatives of All Pakistan CNG Association and other 12 transporters were arrested when they, along with several others, tried to enter Red Zone in the limits of Artillery Maidan police station on Saturday.

According to details, the representatives of APCNGA, who staged protest demonstration against the expected hike in CNG price and imposition of more CESS on CNG at YMCA ground, had made an attempt to enter Red Zone for acceptance of their demands.

However, the protesters faced stiff resistance from the law enforcers when they tried to enter in red zone. The policemen had indiscriminately charged batons and used water cannon to foil the protesters’ attempt.

Meanwhile, ASP Usman Khwaja, civil lines claimed that the protesters despite several warnings had tried to enter in red zone that left no option but to use tear gases and water cannon for restricting them.

They said that some 27 protesters were taken into custody over violation of red zone restriction. No case was registered till filing of this report.

When contacted, Gayas Abdullah Paracha Chairman of All Pakistan CNG Dealers’ Association said the police had arrested some 40 persons including transporters.

He said that the demonstration across the country against the expected hike in CNG price and imposition of more CESS on CNG will be continued.

He alleged that protestors were returning from Governor House peacefully after the protest when police started brutality against protesters without any reason.

Paracha informed that the police after negotiation released all detained persons without legal procedures.

Paracha also said they the association representatives had reject any increase in the CESS tax on CNG in the upcoming budget, all CNG stations of Pakistan will be closed for indefinite period from 6th June, “Paracha announced”.

When contacted,  Irshad Bukhari chairman of Karachi Transport Ittehad also announced to support the Strike of CNG association against expected price hike in CNG.

He added that the consultation with various transporter associations have been continued to support the wheel jam strike across the country. Bukhari said the protest started by CNG dealer association aimed to save the consumers from inflation as the expected increase in the prices of Natural Gas will directly fall burden on common men.