Firing On Protesters In Chilas Leaves Two Dead18 February 2010
New Delhi: Two people were killed and four others injured when law-enforcement personnel opened fire on a procession taken out in Chilas on Thursday to demand acceptance of their demands before the beginning of work on the Diamer-Bhasha Dam. According to witnesses and police, the protesters marched towards Wapda Colony and pelted the offices of Water and Power Development Authority with stones when police fired teargas shells. In the meantime, Frontier Corps personnel opened fire, killing Sabir Gul of Gunar Farm and Framulk of Chilas and injuring Naseeb Khan, Abu Zar, Abdul Ghafar and Jan Sher. People of Diamer launched a peaceful movement a month ago and gave the Feb 18 deadline to the government for acceptance of their charter of demands. The demands include royalty of the dam, resolution of border dispute between Gilgit-Baltistan and the NWFP and increase in compensation for the land taken over by the government for the project. The protesters staged a sit-in and blocked Karakoram Highway for hours. The firing triggered widespread protests in Chilas and people took to the streets and chanted slogans against the district administration. The protesters burned down the offices of deputy commissioner, superintendent of police and assistant commissioner and two police checkposts. They also set on fire two vehicles of the Public Works Department and Agriculture Department. District administration officials said in Gilgit that paramilitary forces and contingents of police had been sent to Chilas to calm down the situation.