Peasnat women demonstration stopped by police

 
09-03-2021 report by Amir Suhail

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Hundreds of peasant women were prevented by police at different districts in Punjab to attend the protest demonstration on the eve of 8th March 2002.Police had blockade the main roads leading to Lahore to stop women reaching at the venue. The demonstration was called by Women Workers Help Line and ladies wing of Anjaman Mozareen Punjab AMP (Tenants organization Punjab). 

25 women at Manga Mandi police station were detained for over three hours. 6 coaches of the peasant women were also stopped at the outer side of Manga Mandi, 30 kilometers from Lahore. Two buses were stopped at another point at Wah Radha Ram, some 70 kilometer from Lahore. Two buses were not allowed to enter Lahore at Shahdra just outside Lahore. Such incidents were reported at Sarghoda, Faisalabad, Okara and Khaniwal.

Despite all the efforts of the police over 500 reached at Lahore where they were not allowed to leave the place to hold the demonstration. At Shimla Pehari of Lahore hundreds of policemen were at full alert to stop the women coming out of the park where they were to gather as a starting point of demonstration. A protest meeting at the park was held. 

Speaking on the occasion, Azra Shad, chairperson WWHL told the gathering that police have stopped us with force but they can stop us demanding land  ownership rights. She said police behavior with the demonstration exposed the
dictatorial nature of the military regime despite all its claims of being liberal. She said working class women are in full solidarity with the peasant women in their struggle for ownership rights of the land. 

Romana Shabnum a city counselor spoke of the courage of peasant women and urged for a greater unity of the working class to fight the exploitation. 

Farooq Tariq and Shoaib Bhatti, general secretary and chairman of Labour Party Pakistan demanded the arrest of the military officer involved in the killing of a peasant leader. They told the gathering that LPP will fight shoulder to shoulder with the peasants. “ We must get rid of the politics of the rich and join the party that fight for your rights” they told the jubilant peasant and worker women and men present in the meeting. 

Leaders of AMP also spoke on the occasion. On the invitation of the administration and police secretary to governor of Punjab received a four-member delegation at governor house. They handed over a petition demanding that 68000 acres land should be handed over to them as they are cultivating it for over 100 years. They also demanded that a murder case should be registered against Colonel Mohammed Ali who was responsible for the killing of Mohammed Bashir, a peasant leader on 7th January 2002. 

Hundreds of women at Manga Mandi, where the police stopped them, refused to go back for few hours until the LPP leaders come and speak to them. Speaking here at 5.30pm, Farooq Tariq paid great tribute to the courage of the peasant
women who are ready for any sacrifices. He said, LPP would not leave them alone in this hour of need. He said it is an insult of the international day of women done by military regime that working class women were not allowed to
take out the demonstration and busses were stopped.

Here LPP leaders made strong representation to the Assistant Superintendent of police for stopping women to go to Lahore. The ASP had nothing to say.

The leaders of AMP and LPP are addressing a press conference tomorrow to tell the press the inhuman behavior of police with the peasant women at different areas of Punjab.

 
 

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