SWABI: Tobacco growers whose crop was destroyed by recent hailstorm here on Thursday demanded financial assistance from the government so they could meet needs of their families and continue farming activities.

“It is responsibility of the government to help the growers at this critical stage,” said Kashtkar Coordination Council central general secretary Liaquat Yousafzai while talking to this correspondent.

He warned that the poor growers should not be forced to stage demonstrations and block roads, but if the government failed to help them they would be left with no other option.

Sher Zamin of Saleem Khan village said that after witnessing the damage to his crop he did not want to go to his fields again.

The tobacco growers said the government’s apathy would force them to say adieu to farming and search for other sources of livelihood.

Various unions of the growers also held a meeting on Thursday and urged the government to play its due role because agriculture was the backbone of the country’s economy.

Kisan Board district president Khalid Khan said the growers had suffered big losses due to the Tuesday’s hailstorm and the damaged regions should be declared as calamity-hit.

PROTEST: Students of the University of Swabi staged a protest demonstration against the security officials who allegedly manhandled a student here on Thursday.

The students of various departments gathered in the university soon after the incident and marched to the entrance gate where they staged a protest while chanting slogans against the security officials.

Speaking on the occasion, leaders of student federations said the security officials should treat the students in a polite manner while performing their duty. Later, they dispersed peacefully.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the university management would investigate the issue.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

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