Arrest the killer military officer Give us the ownership rights of our land

 
11-02-2021 by: Sajid Baluch

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A peasant organization in Pakistan has announced a 40 days protest hunger strike camp at Okara, some 100 kilometer from Lahore starting from 11th February 2002. The Anjaman Mozareen Punjab (Tenant Organization Punjab) is demanding the ownership rights of the military forms across the country. They also want a military colonel to be arrested in the killing of one peasant on 7th of January this year. The killing took place when over 100 gangsters wanted to occupy the land of Mohammed Bashir by force. When Bashir resisted he was shot at and he died in the hospital. During the incident several more were injured.

The peasants are working on the lands over 100 years and still they have no right of the ownership of these lands. The Organization has demanded from the government to give ownership rights to peasants tilling around 68000 acres of land in remount farms, agriculture research, extension farms, live and dairy farms in the province. The ancestors of the farmers brought the barren land under utilization in 1908. Under a scheme by the British imperialism, the farmers were promised that they would be given ownership rights once the land is cultivatable. The promise is not yet fulfilled. This land was under the contract of British Cotton Growing Association.

The first badge of comprising 56 peasants went on a token 12 hours hunger strike on 11th February at Okara. Among them were 16 peasant women. They raised slogans for the arrest of the military officer involved in the incident. The main slogans of these peasants were “ownership or death”.

Speaking at a public meeting at the end of the protest camp in the evening, Farooq Tariq, general secretary Labour Party Pakistan told the gathering of few hundreds that no one, no one can break the will of the working class to change the society. He told the peasants that the military officers have to face the trail. LPP will make sure that justice is done to the family and the organization.

He said we couldn’t accept the gangsterism of the so-called owners of the land against us. He said LPP would organize a nationwide protest campaign for the peasant’s demands. He told the gathering that he met Sheikh Mohammed Rashid, former chairman of Federal land Commission and former federal minister, on 10th of January 2002. He told me that he had decided to give the ownership rights to these families in 1977 but before the implementation of the decision, a military coup by Zia Ul Haq changed the whole scenario. He later asked the peasants to end their 12 hours token hunger strike. A new badge will start the hunger strike every day.

40 days hunger strike camp programme have been announced by the Tenant Organization Punjab, whose several main leaders have joined Labour Party Pakistan recently. Over 40 peasants will sit on hunger strike from 40 different villages. Every day, there will be a public meeting in the end of the day with speakers from different political parties, trade unions and social organizations.

Labour Party Pakistan and Peoples Rights Movement will organize solidarity meetings across the country. During the last one-month, several LPP leaders including Bashir Butter, the LPP Punjab organizer have visited many villages and spoke at dozens of public meetings. Several thousands peasants women also took part in these corners meetings addressed by the leaders of LPP and Women Workers Help Line.

This movement is going on for some months involving over half a million peasants. The organization has organized many successful peasant rallies. The present hunger strike camp movement will involve many thousands of peasants.

It was also decided to launch an international movement to bring this case in the eyes of the working class and their representatives. A more detail programme will be send to you later explaining how you can help in this campaign.

Report by:
Sajid Baluch
Member LPP

 
 

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