Man injured in police firing at striking farmers - The New Indian Express

Man injured in police firing at striking farmers

Published: 15th November 2012 10:26 AM

Last Updated: 15th November 2012 10:26 AM

Just a day after two persons were killed, a man was injured when police fired at striking sugarcane farmers, who continued their agitation upsetting traffic and setting vehicles ablaze on Wednesday.

The agitation demanding a higher price for sugarcane than what the co-operative sugar mills have been offering turned violent with the arrest of farmer leader Raju Shetty, also an Independent Member of Parliament from Hatkanangale in Kolhapur district.

The cane-cultivating belt of Maharashtra - Kolhapur, Solapur, Sangli and Satara - has been witnessing violent clashes between the farmers and the police since the protest, which intensified on Monday when the mill owners, after a meeting, offered `2,300 for a tonne of sugarcane to the farmers. The price announced by the mill owners was lesser than what the farmers have been demanding - Rs 3,000 per tonne.

so far, the state government has tried only to tackle the agitation and not facilitate the negotiation between the farmers and the sugar mills. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has stated that the government had no role to play in meeting the demands of the farmers as the pricing is decided by the mill owners. However, it remains a fact that sugar mills are controlled by political leaders from the Congress and the NCP.

 Road transport took a hit during the peak Diwali season in the four districts that were already hit by the farmers’ agitation. Over the last two days the Maharahstra State Road Transport Corporation has suffered a loss of `1.5 crore as 10 of its buses were torched and 14 others were severely damaged.

Hazare Supports Farmers’ Protests

Extending his support to the ‘justful’ cause of sugarcane growers in Maharashtra, social activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday condemned the firing incident in Sangli district and accused the state government of turning this year’s Diwali ‘black’ for protesting farmers.

Hazare said the stand taken by MP and ‘Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna’ leader Raju Shetty was ‘justful’ but said the farmers should stay away from violence or it will harm their movement.

“By firing on farmers, the government tried to supress their agitation...This will always be remembered as a ‘Black Diwali’,” he said.

He also flayed NCP president Sharad Pawar’s remarks against Shetty and held him responsible for the present agrarian crisis. A farmer was killed in police firing in Sangli on Monday after a group of peasants tried to lock a police team inside a hotel.

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