KARACHI: An FIR was registered against protesting Dairy Farmers and Cattle Farmers Association members who were marching from the National Highway near Bhains Colony to the Karachi Press Club on Thursday.
The police used teargas against hundreds of protesters and almost 50 buffaloes. The protesters wanted new milk rates to be imposed, according to the cost of production and suspension of the Ibrahim Hyderi mukhtiarkar.
The protesters were later dispersed, leaving behind their cattle. "Fourteen farmers have also been arrested and 20 buffaloes confiscated by the mukhtiarkar, whereas 24 farmers have been nominated in the FIR," said Dairy Farmers and Cattle Farmer Association President Shakir Umar Gujjar, adding that an FIR has also been registered against them at the Shah Latif police station.
The current price of milk per litre at dairy farms is Rs74.5 according to the rates fixed by the Karachi commissioner and its retail price is Rs85. "We want our rates to be fixed at Rs100 at dairy farms and to be sold at Rs120 in the market," he said.
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Gujjar told The Express Tribune that the government machinery is being used against them on the orders of the commissioner. "Farmers in Pakistan are the backbone of the economy and the government is resorting to means other than discourse."
Farmers in Hyderabad also held a protest on Tando Muhammad Khan Road under the leadership of the Dairy Farmers and Cattle Farmer’s Association, Hyderabad President Hadi Buksh Jatoi.
Karachi Commissioner Ejaz Ahmed Khan did not respond on the matter of the crackdown. The home department has banned cattle milk enhancement injections throughout the province on the recommendation of the livestock and fisheries department. The ban on the sale, purchase and use of the bovine somato - trophin (rBST) and other related drugs was imposed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure through home department in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court.
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The chief secretary has also given his consent by approving the ban on cattle milk enhancement injections. The notification has given authority to SHOs of the concerned police stations to register complaints under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
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