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BAHAWALPUR: Thousands of commuters were caught on Thursday in the national highway blockade by sugarcane growers protesting against failure of mills in Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan districts to purchase their produce.

As the growers started blocking the Channigoth flyover (70km from here) at noon, light and heavy traffic was seen stuck up on the busy highway up to 30km on each side at 11:30pm.

Protesters raised slogans against the government and threatened to burn their crops if the mills did not issue them permits.

Their talks with the administration of Ahmadpur East and Liaquatpur tehsils failed. They said mill owners, including PTI leader Jahangir Tareen, had held out an assurance to the apex court that they would purchase the entire crop in mills command areas but they did not take steps to resolve the issue.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2018