Top farmer leader dies after ruthless police action in Lahore
November 5, 2020 06:10 PM
A farmers’ leader, who had fainted and shifted to hospital in a critical condition after police action in Lahore, died on Thursday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The cause of his death is stated to be the chemical-mixed water and teargassing at Thokar Niaz Beg where the protesting farmers faced this crackdown as the government opted to disperse them by using force.
Malik Ashfaq Langrial was from Vehari and the finance secretary of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad’s district chapter. He died at Jinnah Hospital.
Reacting to the news, the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad demanded the removal of Lahore CCPO Umer Sheikh and asked Chief Usman Buzdar to take notice of the police action.
Earlier, Thokar Niaz Beg – where the farmers had staged a sit-in against an alarming increase in the cost of inputs – turned into battle zone after police tried to disperse them in a violent fashion in wee hours on Wednesday.
Over 200 farmers were taken custody amid the clash between the two sides with policemen resorting to indiscriminate baton charge and teargassing with the protesters throwing stones at them in response.
Meanwhile, the main leadership of the protesting farmers managed to escape the police action and fled to some undisclosed locations.
However, the police action was launched again in the morning as the police failed to clear the area in first attempt.
Meanwhile, the arrested farmers were released from the Camp Jail and the city’s main prison at Kot Lakhpat on Thursday after the two sides hold dialogue to tackle the situation.
Reacting strongly to the government tactics, PML-N Vice-president Maryam Nawaz described the crackdown as a shameful act.
Similarly, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the police action was a practical manifestation of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s terrorism.
On Tuesday, a large contingent of police was deputed in the area to stop them from entering the city as farmers from across Punjab gathered at Thokar Niaz Beg for the protest.
They said the provincial government did not fulfil the promises made earlier and talks would be held only with the federal officials, otherwise, they were not going to end their sit-in.
For this protest called and led by Chaudhry Anwer of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad, farmers from Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan, Vehari, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar and other parts of the province had reached the provincial capital.
Talking about the rising overall inflation and the increase in the rates of different inputs like fertilizers and electricity, the protesters said they were unable to get the return according to the price hike.
Calling for reducing the power tariff for tube-wells and fertilizers’ rates, they demanded that the wheat support price should be increased to the level of Rs2,000 announced by the Sindh government.
The farmers made it clear that the sit-in would continue till the signing of a written agreement as the government in the past never materialised the promises made in the past after their repeated protests.
About the current protest, the farmers and their representatives held the government responsible for that and cited not fulfilling the past assurances as the reason for this gathering.