- Jhang farmers stage protest, thrash food inspector over unjust distribution of gunny bags
Tall claims of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif about fair distribution of ‘bardana’ (gunny bags) among small farmers were overshadowed on Tuesday as the farming community from Jhang expressed strong resentment over preference being given to PML-N workers-farmers by food officials at the Bhoon food centre.
Reportedly, food inspector Safdar Khan was distributing gunny sacks to PML-N workers on chits issued by MPA Muhammad Khan Baloch and MNA Ghulam Muhammad Lali – both from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz – creating unrest among local farmers and prompting them to stage a sit-in on Jhang-Sargodha Road.
Local farmers alleged that Safdar Baloch, a close aide and relative of PML-N MPA Muhammad Khan Baloch, had been appointed as food inspector to manipulate the distribution process. They complained that Baloch was only favouring PML-N workers or those who were greasing his palms.
The poor farmers were so upset and furious at the same time that they thrashed the food inspector when he used foul language against them. Qadir Pur police intervened and the deputy superintendent of police and Assistant Commissioner Shahid Abbas Joi assured the protesting farmers of just distribution of bardana.
The assistant commissioner said that the situation was under control now and the farmers were given assurance of fair distribution of bardana.
The Punjab Food director said that the food centre in Shah Jeevna area used to be a hub of corruption so it was bifurcated into Bhoon and Chund Bharwana.
It may be mentioned that MPA Muhammad Khan Baloch is also a local merchant and well known middle man who has fleeced the poor farmers by manipulating the system.
Local farmer Sajjad said that food officials were only favouring PML-N workers or those farmers who are in good books of local politicians. He called upon the chief minister to take notice of this corrupt practice and appoint an honest official at the Bhoon food centre.