Two dead as police use force to disperse protesting PIA employees

KARACHI, Pakistan: The demonstration by the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees to pressurize the government to fulfill their demands turned violent on Tuesday after police resorted to baton charge and tear gas shelling to disperse the protesters which eventually left two persons dead and a couple of others including a cameraman injured.

The sources said that members of the PIA employees’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) including women were staging a protest at Jinnah Terminal in Karachi when in an attempt to disperse the protesters, police used rubber bullets and shelling. Resultantly, two persons were killed and a DawnNews cameraman along with a few others were injured.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader in the National Assembly and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Syed Khursheed Shah strongly condemned the use of shelling by the police on protesters.

Talking to media, the PIA spokesperson Daniyal Gilani said that the management of the national flag carrier was not responsible for the use of teargas and water canons.

The PIA spokesman said that the government is talking action in accordance with the law to deal with the situation, and that flight operations were not affected by the strike.

The JAC of PIA employees on Monday announced to go on strike starting 07:00 am on Tuesday after the federal government refused to act upon their four demands which also included withdrawing the decision to privatize the PIA.

However, the PIA spokesperson told earlier in the day that PIA flights are operating from all airports of the country as per schedule.

The spokesman said that flights PK-4232 from Islamabad to Abu Dhabi, PK-584 from Islamabad to Dera Ghazi Khan and PK-300 from Karachi to Islamabad and PK-755 from Islamabad to Riyadh have left for their destinations.

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