BAHAWALNAGAR
Against shortage of canal water due to theft, the farmers of various villages set ablaze SDO Haroonabad Office and also thrashed the staff for offering resistance here on Tuesday.Scores of farmers belonging to villages 62/4R, 63/4R, 64/4R, 64/4R, 66/4R, 67/4, 68/4R, 69/64 and other areas set fire to the SDO Haroonabad and PIDA offices as a protest. They also burnt the official record and thrashed the canal  staff on resistance. Later, they staged a demonstration at the bridge of 4/R canal. They threw the traffic out of gear for about two hours. Demonstrators’ representatives Amir Watto, Allah Ditta, Muhammad Ali, Akram etc said that their villages had been suffering acute shortage of canal water for a long time due to which their crops were severely affected. They also said that they staged several demonstrations to record their protest but the authorities never paid a heed to the issue. Thus, they had to take to the streets, they said. They said that 4/R canal water does not reach to their villages due to water theft, which was being committed under the patronage of the president of a farmers’ organization as he takes huge bribe for this purpose, they alleged. Later, the farmers opened the road for traffic as the SDPO Haroonabad and XEN Islam Mustafa held talks with the protesters. They also demanded a probe into the issue. However, a case has been registered against 17 demonstrators.ALLEGED THIEVES BOOKED: District police have booked 30 water thieves, seven power thieves and 14 firework sellers during a crackdown which was launched on the direction of DPO Bahawalnagar Muntazir Mehdi. The DPO said that violation of the law will not be tolerated at any cost.