DADU: A large number of wheat growers held a protest demonstration in Wahur, the native village of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, on Friday to draw his attention towards the sheer injustices to them and corruption on the part of food officials and influential figures of the area.

Speaking to them at a wheat procurement centre near Bhan Syedabad town, their leaders Ghulam Nabi Gambhir, Nizam Gambhir, Ashiq Brohi, Asif Memon and Gul Zaman condemned the corrupt practices by food officials who, they alleged, were giving away gunny bags only to influential growers and turning away abadgars (small growers) empty handed. They also alleged that the officials posted at the procurement centres were also charging Rs200 per wheat bag to buy their produce and that too at a much lower price than the official rate. All these injustices were causing heavy losses to abadgars, they deplored, and raised slogans against the area’s Food Inspector Rajab Panhwar.

They said that such corrupt practices were witnessed at the wheat procurement centres in Bhan Syedabad, Wahur, Bobak, Arazi, Dwanbha, Tilti and Lakki Shah Saddar areas.

They deplored that small farmers had already incurred heavy losses while buying urea fertiliser at an exorbitantly high rates during the sowing season and now they were being denied gunny bags and official rate of their produce. The losses ran into millions of rupees as wheat growers were being made to sell away their crop at a throwaway price after producing the commodity at a very high cost due to an unprecedented increase in the prices of all agricultural inputs and fuel.

They appealed to the CM to look into their grievances and save them from the heavy losses that were bound to devastate them economically.

They also demanded stern action against corrupt officials of the food department and extortionists.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2024

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