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Lahore: Farmers clash with police amidst protests against unwarranted arrests

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Punjab police charged on the protesting farmers before the latter had the chance to assemble in front of Lahore Press Club and arrested several farmers on Wednesday. Chief Minister (CM) Shabaz Sharif ordered the release of the farmers, Dunya News reported.

Pakistan Kissan Ittehad Council had voiced its reservations against non-friendly policies of government for which it had announced a protest at Nasir Bagh Lahore.

The government declined permission to hold the protest at the suggested venue following which the farmers association decided to head to Lahore Press Club at Shimla Hill. Before the press conference by the farmers association could begin, Punjab police began baton charge on the participants followed by a series of arrests.

The police and the protestors clashed at the occasion, injuring several farmers in the process.

President Kissan Ittehad Council Chaudary Anwar said that more than 500 workers of the association who had reached Lahore had been taken into custody.

Police authorities have been unable to provide the reason for arresting the farmers so far.

The leaders of the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad Council said the police authorities had assaulted and arrested the farmers without giving any due cause and the apparent purpose appears only to please higher authorities.
Curtsey:Dunya News, On 25 March,2015 

Farmers give six-month deadline to Punjab government

MULTAN: The Kisan Board Pakistan has given a six-month deadline to the government to accept their 10 demands, otherwise they will launch a long march against it from Sadiqabad to Islamabad.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, KBP central president Sadiq Khan Khakwani, Punjab secretary general Arslan Khan Khakwani and south Punjab media coordinator Kanwar Siddique said that their demands included abolition of general sales tax on all agriculture inputs, lifting of ban on wheat movement, announcement of support prices before sowing period, flat rates for agriculture tube-wells and interest-free agriculture loans to all farmers.

KBP chief Sadiq Khan Khakwani said that the farmers were facing difficult times because of high costs of agri inputs, high electricity tariff and loadshedding. He said that the farmers were not getting due returns for their crops.

He said that India was giving subsidy to the farmers on agri inputs while the Pakistan government was creating problems for the farmers by importing agri products from India. He said that the farmers were the backbone of the national economy but the rulers were overlooking their problems. He asked the farmers to unite to protect their interests.

KBP Punjab secretary general Arslan Khakwani said the farmers were 70-80pc of the population but unfortunately 20pc people were ruling them. He said that the KBP had been fighting for the prestige of the farmers for a long times and was organising the Kisan conventions at the district level. A farmers’ convention would be held in Khanewal district on April 1 and Layyah district on April 5, he added. The farmers were contributing lion’s share in the national growth, but they were deprived of health facilities.
Curtsey:The News, Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Punjab farmers unhappy over cotton support price

 MULTAN: Growers have rejected the cotton support price, saying the government has announced sowing and production targets for south Punjab without revising the rate.

They said the Economic Coordination Committee had announced cotton support price at Rs 3,000 per 40 kg in October last but the government did not revise that price. The Punjab Agriculture Department officials said the cotton sowing target for south Punjab - Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur - had been fixed at 5,080,140 acres with an estimated production of 9,063,910 bales.

According to the officials, cotton is being sown over 19, 84, 780 acres in Multan Division to produce 3,682,880 bales. The target for Dera Ghazi Khan is at 170,440 acres to produce 1,753,990 bales while that for Bahawalpur fixed at 1,952, 920 acres and 3,627,040 bales.

Agriculture experts have advised the growers to launch a campaign for removing herbs from cotton fields for better production and healthy crop.On the other hand, the Punjab Kisan Committee has rejected the Rs 3,000 per 40 kg support price and demanded a minimum of Rs 4,000 per 40 kg, saying the government’s support price would fail even to recover the expenses.

The Punjab Kisan Committee general secretary, Malik Iqbal, said the farm prices had recently dropped below the cost of production and could have prompted farmers to reduce the number of pickings. He said the PML-N government failed in providing any relief to farmers.

“Price of cotton in ECC meeting is not going beyond Rs 3,000. If the same trend continues, cotton growers will be devastated. We demand the government to raise the minimum support price from the present Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per 40 kg with the incentive on minimum support price,” Malik Iqbal said. The farmers said the government had failed to deliver and ruling the country to plunder national wealth. They said no political party had taken serious steps to save the agriculture sector that was on the verge of a collapse.

They demanded seats for farmers in the Parliament so that they could bring forth their problems. They also demanded to abolish all taxes on pesticides, fertilizers and agricultural machinery. They also called for reducing electricity price and elimination of GST and FPA.
Curtsey:The News: Friday, June 05, 2015 




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