Growers block motorway against tobacco firms

Published September 28, 2021
Tobacco farmers block Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway in Swabi on Monday. — Dawn
Tobacco farmers block Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway in Swabi on Monday. — Dawn

SWABI: Tobacco growers blocked the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway at the Swabi Interchange here for three hours on Monday against the multinational companies for not implementing an agreement regarding purchase of all the tobacco produce from them.

The protesters lifted the road’s blockade after the district administration held talks with their leaders.

It is to be mentioned here that the growers have been protesting for last week against the purchasing companies.

Liaqat Yousafzai, central chairman of Tobacco Growers Association Pakistan, announced the end to the road blockade after successful talks with the administration.

Talking to mediapersons, he claimed that the companies had agreed that they would start purchasing tobacco from the growers from Tuesday (today).

Arif Khan, president of Ittehad Kashtkaran, said it was great achievement of the poor farmers that the companies had agreed to purchase their produce.

A caravan of growers comprising cars, coaches, tractor-trolleys and motorcycles began from Jaganat area of Razaar tehsil. It passed through the tobacco growing areas and bazaars in the district headquarters before reaching the Swabi Interchange.

The growers were chanting slogans against the provincial government for its failure to safeguard their interests.

The police avoided using baton charge to disperse the protesters.

In a similar development, Jamaat-i-Islami also held a protest demonstration against high inflation and in support of the tobacco growers.

The JI leaders and workers marched through roads in the district headquarters and gathered in the Karnal Sher Khan Chowk.

Speaking to the workers, the JI leaders said the PTI government had failed to arrest the sky rocketing prices of food items, but rather resorted to imposing taxes on people. They demanded that the government should force the companies to buy all the tobacco from the growers.

MAN KILLED: Unidentified assailants shot dead a man in Shewa village on Monday, Rescue 1122 officials and police said.

The victim, identified as Attaullah, 17, a resident of Shewa village, was taken to the tehsil headquarters hospital in critical condition, but he died there. The cause of the murder could not be known.

The Kalu Khan police have registered an FIR into the case.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2021

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