SWABI: Growers here on Wednesday set on fire bales of tobacco crop as a mark of protest in front of a multinational company, saying the companies had failed to buy the crop from common farmers while giving importance to tobacco entrepreneurs.

The call for protest was given by Tobacco Growers Association Pakistan (TGAP) and Ittehad-i-Kashthkaran (IK), which was supported by other unions of growers from different regions of the district.

The growers reached in front of a multinational company at Jaganat, Razaar tehsil, and staged a protest.

Speaking on the occasion, they alleged that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and MNAs and MPAs belonging to the district did not take any interest in solution of their problems.

Claim common farmers ignored in crop buying

The growers also chanted slogans against the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB), alleging that its officials had failed to resolve their issues. A big contingent of police was deployed at the protest site.

Leaders of various unions and farmers spoke on the occasion.

Liaquat Yousafzai, chairman of TGAP, said PTB had conducted a survey soon after the companies completed buying their quota and directed the buyers to purchase surplus tobacco from the growers.

Arif Khan, president of IK, said the companies operated on their soil and they had to pick the crop from all the growers because they earned billions of rupees every year at the cost of local farmers.

Mohammad Ali Dagiwal, a tobacco growers’ leader, said leaders of various political parties, especially the ruling party, had failed to help the poor growers in selling their products to multinational companies.

“We will not go back from here and encircle the companies in the region if our demand is not accepted,” said Mr Yousafzai.

KILLED: Two persons allegedly shot dead their brother and injured his son over a land dispute in a village of Chota Lahor here on Wednesday.

According to details, they were busy demarcating their land in Proper Chota Lahor when they suddenly started arguments, which led to a clash and firing. As a result, Sher Hassan was killed and his son Daniyal Khan injured, who was taken to Bacha Khan Hospital Complex, Shahmansoor.

Injured Daniyal has registered an FIR against his uncles Tahir Khan and Abul Hassan in Chota Lahor city police station. Police said they had arrested Abul Hassan.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2021

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