Kolhapur, Nov 15 (TruthDive): Seeking better prices for sugarcane, agitating farmers in the state of Maharashtra went on a protest on Wednesday in which the farmers and police had a scuffle with each other that sent shock waves all through Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli districts.
The protesting farmers set a police jeep on fire and also damaged several state-run buses. Police had to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters and also opened fire to restrict the irate mobs in which a farmer was injured after he was hit on the leg in the clash. Earlier on Monday, a farmer was reportedly dead after the police opened fire to contain the agitating protesters said the police.
According to the farmers, they are making a demand of Rs 3,000 for one ton of sugarcane instead of Rs 2,300 which they claim to be too less. The owners of the factory who are said to be the most powerful politicians from the ruling Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), however are not accepting the demand of the farmers.
The protest turned aggressive following the arrest of the Independent MP Raju Shetty, under whom the agitation has been led. Mr Shetty was lodged in the Yerawad central jail in Pune after his refusal to apply for a bail.
In the meantime, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, took a chance using the hot-tempered opportunity by pulling himself into the matter accusing the government of Maharashtra by saying that the farmers’ interests have been ignored as most of the owners of the sugar factory are very close to the ruling party in the state.
“Most of the sugar mills in Maharashtra are owned by the NCP, BJP and the Congress people which clarifies the government’ role being stubborn in their stand by not favouring the interest of the farmers,” said Kejriwal.
Extending his support, social activist Anna Hazare also condemned the act of police firing on the agitating farmers and criticized the state government for being cruel to the farming community.