Islamabad -  Islamabad police resorted to baton charge before using tear gas shells and water cannon to disperse the representatives of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad who were protesting for acceptance of their demands at D-Chowk on the day the government was going to present budget for the next fiscal year.

The protesters pelted stones at the police as the latter tried to disperse them. The whole area was presenting a look of a battle field. Several protesters besides policemen got injured during the hide and seek and the police held many of the protesters and shifted them to different police stations of the city. According to the sources in the police, around 180 protestors were arrested.

Earlier, a large number of protesters appeared at the D-Chowk and blocked the road to record their protest. They demanded subsidy in electricity bills and fertiliser prices. They called for fixing rates for agricultural commodities and abolishing taxes on agriculture sector. They also sought time from the prime minister so that they could apprise him of their issues; however, no government representative reached the spot to negotiate with them. The protest also forced suspension of Metro Bus service which caused inconvenience for the commuters.

National Assembly Opposition Leader Syed Khurshid Shah, however, reached the spot and addressed the protesters. Speaking on the occasion, he lamented that the police baton charged the farmers on the day it was going to present the annual budget. He lamented that those people are engaged in formulating polices relating to agriculture who know nothing about the sector.

High alert was observed in the Red Zone and surrounding areas as a large number of police and FC officials were present to avert any untoward incident. The law-enforcing agencies’ personnel were patrolling the roads around the Red Zone. Strict search and monitoring was being carried out at checkpoints around the area. According to the police officials, no protest or rally is allowed in Red Zone. They said the arrested persons would be booked under the relevant laws.