SWABI: Four leaders of tobacco growers, who were arrested on Wednesday under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO), have been shifted to Haripur jail, according to sources.

They said that the leaders were arrested as Ittehad Kashtkaran (IK), led by Arif Ali Khan, wanted to launch another protest. The growers said that about 1200,000 kilograms of tobacco were still lying with them because some of the companies failed to purchase their quota, creating unrest among them.

Sources said that both police and district administration wanted to thwart any untoward incident. They said that police arrested the leaders of growers because they had planned to block Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway again.

The growers said that both district administration and tobacco purchasing companies failed to fulfil their pledges made with them at the end of their earlier protest when they blocked the motorway.

During the earlier protest, an FIR was registered against 100 growers and their leaders but later on talks were held between police officials and farmers and the former agreed that action would not be taken against them. However, the case was not withdrawn as demanded by the growers.

DPO Mohammad Shoaib Khan, when contacted, said that Liaqat Yousafzai, central president of Tobacco Growers Association Pakistan, Arif Ali Khan, the president of IK, Mohammad Dagiwal and Inayat Ali Shah Bacha were shifted to Haripur jail.

“The arrested leaders were creating problems and the police did not allow them to materialise their plan to block the motorway. They would be in Haripur jail for 30 days,” he said.

However, the growers vowed to continue their struggle. They said that protest their democratic right.

KILLED: A 21-year-old man was killed when his motorcycle collided with a van on Marghuz-Topi road here on Wednesday.

The motorcyclists identified as Salman Khan was on way home in Marghuz and the van was coming from the opposite direction. He was killed on the spot. FIR was registered against the van driver.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2021



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