MARDAN, Jan 7: A large number of farmers hailing from different areas of Swabi district staged a sit-in outside the residence of industrialist and former MNA Haji Naseem-ur-Rehman over non-payment of the price of tobacco crop by his company for last eight months.

Provincial chairman of the Kashtkar Coordination Council Arif Khan and other council members, including Azam Kaka and Mohammad Ali, led the protesters. They said they had sold tobacco crop worth Rs40 million to the tobacco company owned by Haji Naseem-ur-Rehman some eight months back.

They pointed out the officials of company had told them that their amount would be cleared within six months but they were not paid the money.

The farmers said Haji Naseem-ur-Rehman had also promised during a meeting with them some three weeks ago that the withheld amount would be paid, but to no effect.

They said they belonged to poor families.

They announced on the occasion that they would carry on the protest sit-in near residence of the company owner till payment of their amount.

However, the allegations leveled by the growers were rejected by the company in a press release issued later in the day.

The company said it had an organised mechanism of payments, rejecting claims that payments to tobacco growers were delayed.

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