BAHAWALNAGAR

More than 5,000 police personnel from six districts came down hard on villagers to “quell” what is being described as a “civil disobedience-like situation” in Chak 241/HR in the Marot Police precincts, leaving more than 30 farmers severely injured while 70 others were arrested. The police also injured two media men severely and damaged their cameras and a vehicle.

The police contingents from six districts including Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Vehari and Bahawalnagar police, under the supervision of Bahawalpur RPO Rai Tahir launched the operation which continued till filing of this report.

According to a police hand out issued here, the Marot Police led by Fortabbas DSP Abid Warraich launched an operation for arrest Kisan Ittehad Divisional president  Amir Watto and other electricity defaulters on Monday night in Chak 241/HR. The police claimed that the defaulters had not paid electricity bills of their agriculture tube-wells since long. However, Amir Wattoo provoked the villagers by making announcements through mosque loudspeakers. The police said that ‘unruly mob’ held the police party hostage and subjected them to torture.

The mob also impounded five police vehicles and snatched arms from the police personnel. The hand out claimed that several cops were injured by the mob last night.

However, a warlike situation appeared when the police retaliated in a more violent way on Monday. The district police called in contingents from Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Vehari districts. A grand operation with the help of about 5,000 cops was launched to arrest the accused who had tortured the police personnel last night. But the police, reportedly, turned more violent did not spare anyone. Narrating the alleged police violence, Kisan Ittehad central spokesperson Sajjad Hussain Nazish claimed that the police forcibly entered the houses of farmers and subjected children, women and elderly persons to severe torture. He said that police also set ablaze house of KI Divisional President Amir Wattoo.

On the other hand, the villagers accused the police taking the law into its hands. They alleged that the police snatched gold ornaments and other valuables from the villagers.

Meanwhile, a shopkeeper Yousaf, son of Mehar Din was deprived of Rs40,50,000 by the police. According to villagers, 30 farmers were allegedly injured in the police violence. Meanwhile, the mediamen also tasted the bad ripe of police violence, as police damage car of a media man Saleem Zahid while covering the incident. The police also snatched the camera and returned it to him only after removing the memory card.

Meanwhile, scores of farmers of the Kisan Ittehad staged a protest at Sutlej River bridge. The protesters blocked the road and threw the traffic out of gear till the filing of this report.