BADIN: Paddy growers resumed their protest against rice millers in Kario Ghanwar town on Sunday, demanding the authorities concerned force the millers to pay them fair price for their crop.
The protesting farmers led by Hisam Nizamani, Mustafa Ayaz Mehri, Ghulam Mustafa and other who had set up a hunger strike camp along Hyderabad-Golarchi road in the town, told journalists that millers continued to fleece farmers by refusing to pay them Rs1,500 per 40kg and compelling them to sell their crop at Rs1,200 for 40 kg and that too with three to five kilos extra per 40 kilos on the pretext of moisture in the grains.
They deplored the fact that despite continuous protests in various areas of Shaheed Fazil Rahu taluka no elected member of the area had bothered to take notice of their problem and helped them get fair price for their chief crop. They threatened to widen the protest if their demands were not met.
They announced launching a peaceful movement by staging a march in Golarchi town today (Monday) against farmers’ exploitation by rice millers in Badin district.
Local leaders of different political parties including Ustad Mohammad Rahimmon, Mohammad Juman Nohani and others also visited the protesters’ camp and assured them of their support in the peaceful struggle.
Leaders of Save Badin Action Committee Mir Ghulam Rasool Talpur, Mir Noor Ahmed Talpur, Khalil Ahmed Bhurgari and others issued a joint statement, supporting the protest by rice farmers.
They asked Sindh Minister for Agriculture Mohammad Ismail Rahu and other lawmakers of the district to extend support to the farmers at a time when their crop was ready to be harvested and being brought to mills for sale.
Protest against Umerkot police continue
Members and supporters of Arbab group continued on Sunday their protest in Mithi, Kaloi, Diplo, Dahli, Naukot and other towns against Umerkot police’s excesses with villagers in Kuplore village.
The protesters’ leaders told journalists that Umerkot police had raided the village at the behest of PPP MPA Syed Ali Mardan Shah in the wake of a land dispute and tortured innocent villagers of Nohrio community.
The villagers were being subjected to torture and fake cases were being registered against them. A day earlier, complete shutdown was observed in Chhachhro town on a call for protest given by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Arbab Group against police, they said.
Arbab Zakaullah, former MNA and main leader of the group, described before local journalists how police raided the village and tortured men and women.
He said that police registered cases against their supporters on flimsy grounds to subject them to political victimisation at the behest of a PPP lawmaker from Umerkot.
He said the supporters of their group had been protesting peacefully against police brutalities for the past three days. He warned of widening the protest if the cases were not withdrawn and those who had been arrested were not released immediately.
He demanded judicial inquiry into the incident in which dozens of people including women and children were subjected to torture by policemen. There was a negligible dispute over land but PPP leaders were trying to make mountain out of molehill as a pretext to politically victimise their supporters, he said.
Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2019