Posted On Friday, November 16, 2012 at 08:24:28 AM
The cane growers in the State continued their agitation over better price for sugarcane on the ninth consecutive day on Thursday. Barring a few stone pelting and road blockages, no untoward incident was reported across the State.
In a written appeal to farmers from Yerwada jail, MP and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetty urged his followers to stick to the satyagraha method of agitation and not indulge in violence.
|Cane growers burn a trunk and tyres at Vathar station and
Vardhangad in Satara
The Sanghatana will suspend their agitation on Friday to facilitate the movement of Shiv Sainiks, who are flocking to Mumbai to have a glimpse of their ailing leader Bal Thackeray. In his letter, Shetty said sometimes the police have to take stern action. After all, they are performing their duty.
Hence, farmers should avoid clashes with the police, he stated. The farmers’ leader is in judicial custody following his arrest on November 12 during the agitation.
City BJP MLA Girish Bapat met him at the Yerwada jail. Shetty sent with him a written appeal to the Shetkari Sanghatana activists. The appeal stated, “I request the sugarcane growers to have patience though injustice has been meted out to them. Truth always triumphs.
We should protest without taking law into our hands. We will chart the future course of action after my release from the Jail.”. Bapat, who discussed the issues of sugarcane growers with Shetty, told Mirror, “There is complete deadlock between the government and the farmers. The government is not willing to negotiate with the farmers’ leaders.
Shetty expressed disappointment with the government’s approach towards their issues.” The MLA said, “The agitators are ready to hold discussions separately with each sugar mill managements, as they know that financial condition of sugar mills differ.
But the government doesn’t want directors of sugar mills to talk to the farmers. A few sugar factories are ready to give a rate of Rs 3,000 per tonne but the government is not willing to consent it.”
In Kolhapur, the sugarcane farmers on Thursday torched a police jeep and pelted stones during afresh clash with the police in the district. Media reports said farmers clashed with police personnel when the latter baton charged the protesters while they were staging a roadblock.
Additional companies of the State Reserve Police Force were rushed to the spot to remove the agitating farmers, who had blocked roads at various places in Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts.
Talking to the media after Wednesday’s clash in Sangli, a victim’s brother narrated how his brother sustained bullet injury at the hands of police. Pravin Patil is an engineering student from the Walchand Engineering College, Solapur. He was visiting his village, Karandwadi (5 km from Ashta) during Diwali vacations.
The incident took place when a mob of protestors attacked the Ashta police station and set on fire a police jeep and damaged several vehicles. Pravin’s brother Pramod said he and Pravin had gone to their uncle’s place.
“While returning, we saw a huge crowd pelting stones at the police station. We couldn’t go further due to traffic jam. Hence, we parked our vehicle on the roadside where a bullet hit Pravin’s left leg,” he said. - With Agency inputs