BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 7
Residents of Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan are forming people's guards to help police officers in protecting public order and important state facilities, Khabar-24 TV channel said on Jan. 7, Trend reports citing TASS.
According to the channel, currently, these squads include nearly 500 people.
Among the volunteers there are athletes, doctors, entrepreneurs, and teachers, who intend to protect civilians from looting, as well as state facilities and enterprises ensuring the public order in the capital.
Kazakhstan's government announced late Jan. 4 that it was restoring some price caps on liquefied petroleum gas, after the rare protests reached Almaty following a sharp rise in the price of the fuel at the start of the year.
Many Kazakhs have converted their cars to run on LPG, which is far cheaper than gasoline as a vehicle fuel in Kazakhstan because of price caps. But the government argued that the low price was unsustainable and lifted the caps on Jan. 1.
After the price of the fuel spiked, big demonstrations erupted on Jan. 2 in certain parts of the country. Public protests are illegal in the country unless their organizers file a notice in advance.
Following the development of the situation, the government declared a state of emergency all over the country. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the government initiated anti-terrorist operations to deal with the ongoing riots.
Also, the divisions of the united peacekeeping contingent of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) arrived in Kazakhstan to assist in restoring order and help protect strategic objects of the country.