Farmers in Punjab have been protesting in Lahore for the past three days. One of their main demands was an increase in government purchase rates of wheat and sugarcane. On Wednesday, the Punjab police allegedly used streams of water mixed with chemical additives to disperse the protesters, killing one of the farmers.
The farmers under the banner of Kisan Ittehad Pakistan resumed their sit-in on Wednesday after a late-night police crackdown on protesters. They had announced to stage a protest outside the Punjab Assembly that day, demanding increased support prices for the wheat and sugarcane crops.
Punjab police and the Anti-Riot Force personnel began a late-night crackdown against the farmers at Thokar Niaz Baig locality in Lahore. The police resorted to baton charge, teargas shelling, and arrested scores of protesters, who pelted stones at the policemen.
However, the protesters said they would continue the protest till government issues a notification and approves of their demand. Moreover, they blocked the Multan Road (southern entrance to the city) at Thokar Niaz Baig causing hardships for commuters and creating a traffic jam in the area.
It is to be noted that the farmers were peaceful but the police resorted to violence and shelling against unarmed farmers. Nonetheless, the police tear-gassed and baton-charged the protesting farmers multiple times. They had allegedly used streams of water mixed with chemical additives to disperse the protesters too.
Here’s a video of a Punjab police officer ordering to throw chemical mixed with water on the farmers:
Despite the police roughing up the protesting farmers, they stood their ground and regrouped each time the police retreated.
One of the farmers injured in clashes with the police on Wednesday, according to Kissan Ittehad President Chaudhry Anwar. The victim has been identified as Malik Ashfaq Langriyal, Finance Secretary, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad.
Ashfaq was shifted to Jinnah Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds Thursday evening. The poor farmer died because of the use of hazardous water and tear gas, said Anwar.
Farmers demand the removal of Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh
Meanwhile, various farmer bodies and political parties have expressed their grief at the death of Ashfaq and condemned the government for use of torture to disperse the peaceful protesters.
In addition to this, while expressing its grief at the incident, the Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee alleged that chemical-mixed water was used to disperse the farmers protesting for their basic rights.
It demanded registration of a murder case. Against those who ordered the baton charge and the use of chemical-mixed water on the protesters.
Moreover, it has also demanded Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to remove Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh. Punjab IG Inam Ghani has also sought a report from Sheikh regarding the farmer’s death.
The atrocity is now trending on Twitter & here’s how the Twittersphere has reacted:
Apart from this, the trout farms seem to be at a huge risk of financial ruin after the pandemic. Over 300 tons of trout might be wasted if the COVID-19 lockdown continues in Pakistan.
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