Over 200 arrested as Lahore police use force against farmers
PML-N says it is manifestation of Prime Imran Khan’s terrorism
Thokar Niaz Beg – the area in Lahore where the farmers had staged a sit-in against an alarming increase in the cost of inputs – turned into a battle zone after police tried to disperse them in a violent fashion in the wee hours of Wednesday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Over 200 farmers were taken into custody amid the clash between the two sides with policemen resorting to indiscriminate baton charge and teargassing with the protesters throwing stones at them in response.
Meanwhile, the main leadership of the protesting farmers managed to escape the police action and fled to some undisclosed location.
Reacting strongly to the government tactics, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the police action was a practical manifestation of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s terrorism.
This government was based on vote theft and had nothing except insults, bullet and shelling for the people, she added.
Marriyum reminded Imran Khan that thrashing the farmers with batons won’t increase agriculture production. Locusts had attacked the entire country, including the farmers, the PML-N spokesperson remarked.
Earlier on Tuesday, a large contingent of police was deputed in the area to stop them from entering the city as farmers from across Punjab gathered at Thokar Niaz Beg for the protest.
They said the provincial government did not fulfill the promises made earlier and talks would be held only with the federal officials, otherwise, they were not going to end their sit-in.
For this protest called and led by Chaudhry Anwer of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad, farmers from Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar and other parts of the province had reached the provincial capital.
Talking about the rising overall inflation and the increase in the rates of different inputs like fertilizers and electricity, the protesters said they were unable to get the return according to the price hike.
Calling for reducing the power tariff for tube-wells and fertilizers’ rates, they demanded that the wheat support price should be increased to the level of Rs2,000 announced by the Sindh government.
The farmers made it clear that the sit-in would continue till the signing of a written agreement as the government in the past never materialised the promises made in the past after their repeated protests.
About the current protest, the farmers and their representatives held the government responsible for that and cited not fulfilling the past assurances as the reason for this gathering.