PILER concerned at agri sector’s deteriorating situationFebruary 5, 2014
UMERKOT: Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) on Wednesday expressed concern over the deteriorating situation of agriculture sector due to conflict erupted between two traditional partners—landlords and haris.
Addressing a press conference at Umerkot Press Club: PILER’s Shujauddin Qureshi: Kulsoom Sindhu and Naghma Shaikh said the recent issue of murder of peasant boy Narain Bheel son of Malook Bheel in the presence of police has panicked the farmer families in the entire area. Hence: there is need to handle the case carefully to avert such mishaps as farmers stay losers in such happenings.
There is no need of rivalry: as the farmers and landlords have been equal partners as per the law. Hence: coordination among government officials: civil society: media and peasant rights activists should be strengthened to avoid such mishaps in future.
They said such incidents occur because of irresponsive approach of local police and civil administration: and instable political system.
PILER has been working as research and advocacy organization to strengthen networks local: national: regional and international levels.
The organization is taking up maters of bonded peasants and brick kilns and struggling to have legislation for protection of the rights of the poor. They said hari families work in the fields as share cropper and they should be given their right as per set rule. In case of violation of their rights: it is the responsibility of the government and active civil society to help these people.
They demanded the Sindh government to immediately implement the Bonded Labour Abolition Act and reactivate the district vigilance committees to avert happenings of such horrible incidents.
Hari boy Narain Bheel was killed brutally by the landlords near Kunri town: Umerkot district while the families were preparing to shift to other places following the orders of the court. The police officials were also present during the gory incident.
PILER associates urged the human rights defenders to be careful while dealing with the issues of bonded labourers in any part of the province: because in some cases landlords have posed themselves violent: refusing to follow the court orders. This conflict causes loss to peasants: who deserve support for protection of their lives.