SWABI: Chota Lahor city police have registered an FIR against over 100 tobacco growers and their leaders for blocking Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway two days ago, officials told Dawn.

The growers in the district were protesting against the tobacco companies’ refusal to buy their crop after completing their quota.

The police officials said the FIR could not be lodged on the day of protest because they were collecting the names of protesting leaders and the process was completed on Wednesday.

They said they had started action to arrest all those mentioned in the FIR.

The names of Ittehad-i-Kashtkaran president Arif Khan, Tobacco Growers Association Pakistan central chairman Liaquat Yousafzai and prominent leaders of the growers like Mohammad Ali Dagiwal and Inayat Ali Shah Bacha are included in the FIR.

It has been learnt that the police raided the residence of Mr Arif, but he was not present there.

When the growers knew about the FIR, they immediately reached the hujra (common guest house) of Mr Arif and started a protest. They marched to Yar Hussain police station in a procession and then decided to move to the district headquarters.

Soon after that the police officials contacted the farmers and during negotiations their leaders demanded immediate withdrawal of the FIR, sources said.

When contacted, Mr Yousafzai said the police had assured them that the FIR would be withdrawn. Mr Arif said that they would continue to fight for the rights of the growers, asking the companies to give up their exploitative tactics.

KILLED: Ali Haider of Kala village has said that unidentified assailants have killed his daughter, who was the wife of Fazal Amin.

When contacted, Swabi city police SHO Ajab Durrani said the woman was on her way home from Hassanabdal and when she entered Swabi limits she was shot dead by unknown assailants.

He said the police registered an FIR and have started investigations.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2021

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