One injured during farmers clash in Kolhapur

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 07:30 hrs

Protesting sugarcane farmers, who are demanding a better price for their crop, torched a police jeep and pelted stones during a fresh clash with police in Maharashtra's Kolhapur 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 of Maharashtra.

The representatives of the farmers met Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan yesterday, who asked them to call off their protests and not to resort to violence.

The protests had turned violent on Monday after the police arrested lawmaker Raju Shetti, who is Chief of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and has been leading the farmers' agitation.

On Monday, two farmers died and three policemen were injured in Sangli when the protest turned violent. Since then tension is prevailing in the area.

Talking to a media person after Wednesday's clash in Sangli, a victim narrated how he sustained bullet injury at the hands of police.

"I was coming from my village and I suddenly saw a crowd and went up there. When I reached there, I saw police officials firing, and the bullet hit my leg," said Kishen, injured victim.

Farmers are demanding Rs. 3,000 per tonne for their produce while Maharashtra sugar co-operatives have agreed to give a base price of Rs 2,300 per tonne. The Maharashtra government has refused to intervene in the pricing agreement.

Chavan has said that the prices of sugarcane would be determined only after a discussion in the state assembly during the upcoming winter session.

Leaders of the agitators are about to hold a meeting to decide their future course of action. India Against Corruption (IAC) member Kumar Vishwas is expected to meet Raju Shetti in Pune's Yerawada Jail to lend their solidarity with the farmers. (ANI)

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