TOBA TEK SINGH/HAFIZABAD-Gojra-based farmers staged a protest on Tuesday at Moongi on Gojra-Mureed Wala Road against sugar mills owners, who belong to the ruling party, for purchasing their produce at far lower than the government-fixed rate.

They said that the mills were purchasing sugarcane at Rs120 per 40kg instead of the government-fixed rate of Rs180 per 40kg at all the purchase centres of the sugar mills in Moongi area.

The speakers claimed that all the sugar mills were owned by the ruling party leaders in Toba and Faisalabad districts thus the administration was not taking action against the mills owners. Those addressed included Dr Attaullah, Rehmatullah Arshad and Ch Farhan Ahmad.

Later, Gojra DSP Malik Shahid held talks with the leaders of the farmers and assured them that the higher authorities would be apprised about their demands over which they ended their sit-in and traffic was restored on the road.

On the other side, the villagers of Burj Fattu staged demonstration and blocked the Hafizabad-Pindi Bhattian Road for more than two hours by burning tyres. Beating their chests, they protested against the police for torturing to death a villager in police custody.

A heavy police contingent rushed to the spot and pacified the villagers on the assurance that the responsible cops would be arrested.

According to the villagers, deceased Ikramullah of Burj Fattu was arrested by the Pindi Bhattian Saddar Police on the suspicion of stealing a bike. The police severely tortured him as a result of which he succumbed to his injuries before any medical aid. The villagers demanded immediate arrest of SHO Sarfraz Anjum Saikhu and others.

The dead body was shifted to the DHQ morgue for autopsy. There were visible marks of violence on the dead body.

DPO Sardar Ghias Gul has taken prompt action and ordered the registration of a case against the accused cops. The police have registered a case against the SHO, constables Iftikhar and Mukhtar and two others under section 302 PPC.

The responsible policemen were suspended by the DPO and constituted and inquiry committee headed by DSP Pindi Bhattian to ascertain the facts. The DPO has also assured the dependents of the deceased that stern action would be taken against the responsible police officials.