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Pakistan: 200 farmers arrested for protesting against hike in petroleum prices, fertiliser in Lahore

ANI | Updated: Feb 23, 2022 20:41 IST

Lahore [Pakistan], February 23 (ANI): As many as 200 farmers were arrested in Pakistan's Lahore as they staged a sit-in protest against an exorbitant hike in petroleum prices, unavailability of fertiliser, and higher prices of compost and demanded the reversal of the government decisions, local media reported.
The farmers pledged to continue their protest indefinitely if the arrested farmers are not released.
Members of the Kisan Board Pakistan (KBP), a body representing smallholder farmers belonging to various districts assembled at Thokar Niaz Beg and staged a sit-in, blocking the Multan Road to press the government for their demands, Dawn newspaper reported.
On Tuesday, police baton-charged and arrested 200 of the sit-in participants.
KBP vice-president Amanullah Chattha said that they will stage the sit-in for an indefinite period if their colleagues are not released, the Pakistani newspaper reported.
Chattha claims that two of the protesters were seriously injured in the baton charge and were admitted to a local hospital for treatment.
Justifying the protest, Chattha said an increase of over Pakistani Rs 10 per litre in the petroleum products prices at a time when fertiliser is being sold at a historically higher rate in the country, is tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of the farming community, Dawn newspaper reported.
He further said that a hike of Pakistani Rs 3.9 per unit in power bills, as announced by the ruling Imran Khan-led PTI government, will add Pakistani Rs 216 billion burden to the consumers, while per litre oil prices have crossed Rs 160 mark, the Pakistani newspaper reported.
Chattha said the farmers have been "economically murdered" by creating an artificial crisis of fertiliser and thus raising the prices of the compost at least twice for DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) bag and around Pakistani Rs1,000 per bag for urea.
Chattha warns that national food security will be at stake if the government does not reverse its decisions, Dawn newspaper reported. (ANI)