Karachi Police use force to quell farmers’ protest, detain demonstrators


KARACHI: Karachi police on Wednesday fired water cannon and resorted to baton-charge to prevent protesting PTI activists, who have staged a sit-in on main Abdullah Haroon Road near Metropole Hotel in support of the demands of sugarcane growers, from moving towards the Chief Minister’s House to lodge their protest.

DIG Azad Khan said that the action was taken by the police after the failure of the talks between the officials and the PTI leaders. “Some protesters have also been taken into custody,” he said. Earlier in the day, Sindh police stopped the Kisan Insaf Rally near Nooriabad on the National Highway from marching towards Karachi.

The rally had started its journey from Hyderabad in the afternoon to protest against the refusal of sugar mills to pay the officially fixed price of cane crop to growers. After the rally participants were cornered near Nooriabad, PTI workers came out in their support in Karachi and staged a sit-in near Metropole Hotel.

The police contingents have been deployed in the Red Zone to prevent the sugarcane growers and activists from moving towards the CM House to lodge their protest. In the aftermath of the rally and subsequent protests, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah ordered all sugar mills in the province to start crushing season within the next 24 hours.

The rally was organised by PTI Sindh chapter to express support with the cane growers. PTI leader Haleem Adil Shaikh had accused that the Sindh government was supporting the sugar mill mafia. He claimed that two ministers had extended fake assurances to the farmers regarding the start of crushing season at sugar mills and the payment of official rate to cane growers.

On Wednesday afternoon, the political activists led by Haleem Adil Shaikh gathered at the Hospital Road and took out a rally in support of growers’ demand for payment of Rs182 per 40 kilogrammes as notified by the government on December 5, 2017. However, the police tried to prevent the participants from heading towards Karachi through Hyderabad bypass.

The police parked oil tankers and containers on the road but the charged activists forcibly removed the tankers and headed to the bypass. Later, police made another attempt at the bypass near toll plaza but the activists once again removed the barricades erected by police. The police once again intercepted the rally in Nooriabad area.

In Khairpur, the sugarcane growers protesting on the National Highway culminated their sit-in protest after a six-member team led by MPA Naeem Kharal gave assurances to them that the Sindh High Court’s orders regarding the opening of sugar mills would be implemented in true letter and spirit.


Comments are closed.