State repression at its peak, protest

 
22-05-2020 by: Farooq Tariq

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Peasants at Okara district have been under siege by Rangers and police for nearly two months. The Military Farms management with the help para- military forces wants the peasant to pay the “contract money”. Peasants have refused to do so. They argue that military is not the owners of the land. That, they were forced to sign the “contract agreement” last year. This had changed their status from tenants to lessee.

In all tenants from 19 villages are refusing to obey the orders of the military farms management. To force them to pay, the rangers and police have resorted to all sort of repressive measures.

On 11th may a peasant was killed by rangers firing. Instead of registering a murder case against the rangers, the police have registered a murder case against the main leaders of Anjaman Mozareen Punjab (Tenants Association Punjab). The police say that the peasants have killed one of their own members to put the blame of law enforcing agencies. That is non sense.

On the application of the tenants at Lahore High Court for registration of the case, the court ordered the police to register the tenant’s version also in the same report of the police the so-called FIR.

Since 11th May, the rangers and police have closed down any link to the villages. The relatives of the tenants are picked up from any place. Those who want to visit them are taken to police stations. The vegetable and other vendors are stopped and some time beaten up so they should not go these villages. The rations at villages’ small shops are near to end. The telephone lines are cut of the most leaders of the tenants and two most revolting villages. The canal water is been stopped. The serious ill people can not go to hospital. That has resulted according to BBC.com Urdu service the killing of at least four villagers. The BBC correspondent visited the area for 24 hours and wrote some eye opening reports on the worsening conditions of the tenants.

The local media persons are under enormous threat to write any truth. They are often called by the rangers and are handed reports that has to be published. One of the propaganda of the rangers is that more and more tenants are paying the contract money. This is normally done by picking a close relative of the tenant, beat him up and then he is asked to call his relatives to pay the contact amount and a press conference to say that his relative tenants is paying voluntarily.

Despite all this, the AMP is determined to press fro their demands. Never in the history of Pakistan working class, such an act of bravery is been shown. It is going on for nearly two years. In over all, 8 peasants have been killed, hundreds been wounded, and arrested. Over 106 false cases are registered against the leadership of AMP. The main leadership is already in jail including a member of National Committee of Labour Party Pakistan.

The writer of this article and two more leaders of AMP are banned to enter Okara district for three months.

Almost all the opposition parties have openly supported the cause of the tenants. Most of the newspapers in Pakistan have written editorials against the atrocities. But there is no willingness by the authorities to listen to peasants and solve the issue by giving them the land they are cultivating over 100 years.

Most of the civil right organization has given them very active support. There have been demonstrations all over the country in favor of the peasantry by Labour Party Pakistan, Peoples Rights Movement and other groups.

The Joint Action Committee for Peoples Rights Lahore is holding a protest camp at Charing Cross on Mall Road Lahore on Saturday 24th May from 10 am to 4pm. Please join if you are in Lahore. Please organize a solidarity demo in favor of the peasantry in your area to tell the rangers that we are not spectators but will not accept such repression of the most down trodden strata of the society.

Please send your protest letters and faxes to the following immediately and a copy to Labour Party Pakistan

1. General Pervez Musharaf, President of Pakistan
President's House, Islamabad, PAKISTAN
Fax: 92-51-9203938 / 9211018

2. Faisal Saleh Hayat, Minister of Interior, Narcotics Division,
R- Block, Pak Secretariat, Islamabad, PAKISTAN
Fax: 92-51-9202624

3. Lt. Gen. Khalid Maqbool, Governor of Punjab,
Governor's House, Lahore, PAKISTAN
Fax: 92-42-9200025

4. Diplomatic Representatives of Pakistan in your countries.


Farooq Tariq
General Secretary
Labour Party Pakistan
Ph: 92 42 631 51 62
Fax: 92 42 630 16 85
Mobile: 92 300 84 11 945

 
 

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