Injured peasant women wait medical treatment, police arresting any one leaving the village

By: Farooq Tariq

 

On 3rd May at 4pm Rana Mujib, son of Rana Mohammed Iqbal, the speaker of Punjab Assembly, entered a village Chah Dhaban Wala near Bhai Phero in Tehsil Patoki to occupy 12 acres of land along with dozens of gangsters. When the women of the village resisted, they were fired at and nine women and one young boy of 10 year were injured. The land belongs to the tenants of Department of Auqaf who were working on this land since 1920. The Ranas were furious because they were unable to take over the land few months earlier because of furious resistance of the peasant women.

 

In protest of this brutal action by the son of the speaker Punjab Assembly, the tenants went to the main GT Roadand blocked the road for few hours. Police came to negotiate. They promised to register a case against the gangsters and pleaded the tenants to vacate the roads. When the roads were cleared in the night of 3rd May, police asked the tenants to remove the name of the son of the speaker from the application. The tenants refused. The police registered a case against the tenants for blockading the road and another FIR against the tenants to attack the son of the Speaker.

 

Police then went to the village to arrest anyone leaving the village. Till writing this report, it is believed that over 20 villagers have been arrested. No one can leave the village Chah Dhaban Wala and police have been deployed on all sides of the village.

 

The leader of the tenant told me on phone that please ask and if possible send Asma jehanghir to our village and other women organizations  to take out the injured peasant women who are in the village and there is no medical treatment for them. The injured women are Majeedan Bibi, balqees Bibi, Saba Bibi, Shafiqan Bibi, Naseeb Bibi and the young boy Mohammed Shoaib.

 

The History of the incident

 

In 1920, the land in Chah Dhaban Wala belonged to a Gordawara. It was not a fertile land. The tenants worked very hard to make this land cultivatable. In 1960, the department of Auqaf took over the land and the tenants were asked to pay a very small amount of 20 Rupees per acre to the department. The total land was around 1400 acres. Out of this around 800 acres is now left with the tenants and other land is been taken over by the Ranas and other feudal of the area on one and another excuse. In 2007/2008, the department of Auqaf increased the lease amount to 2500 Rupees and the tenants went to Lahore High Court against this increase.

 

Around six months back, 12 acres of land was forcefully taken by one of the friend of Rana Iqbal son. When they came to occupy the land, the women of the village resisted and they were thrown out of the village by these brave women. The peasant men did not went to resist as they knew that they will be shot at straight by these gangsters. Now on 3rd may, the same gang came back to occupy the land and women resisted, they opened fire.

 

This is sheer gangsterism. Poor peasants are now confined the village and the injured women are unable to take medical treatment because of police blockade. The police at Bhai Phero, known also as Phool Nagar are all acting on the directions of the Ranas and they do not care of the law.

 

An act of feudal gangsterism should not go unnoticed in the suburbs ofLahore.

 

I appeal to SPN members, and also to all those who are receiving this mail to contact Mohammed Liaqat at the village (0336 448 2802) to know the first hand report and help the injured women.

 

I also appeal to Asma Jehanghir and other women activists to take a serious notice of the situation. The members of Labour Party Pakistan, Women Workers Help Line, Anjaman Mozareen Punjab (AMP) are in contact with the villagers. We will not leave them alone.

The tenants of Okara under the leadership of Mehr Abdul Sattar are planning a public meeting at the village. However, the main priority is to bring these women to hospital. The police say that if they agree to remove the name of the speaker son, they can leave the village and also that there will be no more arrests. This has been rejected by the villagers. Liaqat says that his wife got rifle hits on her head, how could we remove his name from the gangsters?

 

Please take up this case on priority base. Talk to the villagers and see for yourself what is happening inPunjabvillages. 

 

Farooq Tariq

Spokesperson Labour Party Pakistan 
25 A Davis Road Lahore, Pakistan 
Tel: 92 42 6315162     Fax: 92 42 6271149     Mobile: 92 300 8411945 
www.laborpakistan.org  

www.jeddojuhd.com 

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