Maha: Farmers' protest enters ninth day

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 08:35 hrs

Sangli, Maharashtra, Nov 15 (IBNS): The ongoing protest by sugarcane farmers in several parts of Maharashtra entered its ninth day on Thursday.

Violence were reported from the state on Wednesday as protesting sugarcane farmers clashed with the police in Kolhapur district of the state.

The police resorted to lathi-charge after protesters, who were staging a road blockade, pelted stones at them, reports said.

The protesters also torched a police van.

The agitating farmers, who have been pressing for a rise in the minimum support price (MSP) of sugarcane, have been protesting against the arrest of MP and chief of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana Raju Shetty.

A farmer was killed when police opened fire on a crowd of agitating farmland activists in Vasgade village in Sangli district of Maharashtra on Monday.

Another farmer was also killed when a truck ran over him during an agitation in Kolhapur.

The ongoing agitation began last week took a violent turn on Monday when police arrested two prominent leaders of the agitation.

Shetty, who served as the leader of the farmers, and his close associate, Sada Khot were arrested on Monday from Indapur.

They were as they announced a statewide move to block all major roads and highways to press for their demands.

Among other things, the protesters demand a minimum support price of Rs 3,000 for sugarcane growers.

Social activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal and spiritual leader and founder of ´The Art of Living´ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had criticised the incident.

Kejriwal earlier tweeted: "V strongly condemn Maha govt action of firing at farmers. Release raju Shetty, accept farmer´s price hike demand n adequate cmpnstion 4 dead."

Criticising the firing incident, Ravi Shankar said in a statement: "It is unfortunate what has happened to farmers on Diwali eve in Maharashtra. I wish a satisfactory solution is reached without further delay,"

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