Mah farm­ers at­tack sugar fac­to­ries for pay­ment de­lay

The Hitavada - - FRONT PAGE -

A group of pro­test­ers torched the of­fice of Kr­ishna Sugar Fac­tory at Karad in Satara dis­trict on Fri­day. Some im­por­tant doc­u­ments, com­put­ers and fur­ni­ture were de­stroyed in the blaze. Be­sides, an­other of­fice of the sugar fac­tory in neigh­bour­ing San­gli was set on fire on Satur­day.

MUM­BAI, Jan 13 (PTI)

AN­GRY over de­layed pay­ment for their crop, farm­ers have at­tacked and set on fire sev­eral of­fices of sugar fac­to­ries in parts of western Ma­ha­rash­tra over the last two days, po­lice said on Sun­day.

Ac­cord­ing to farm­ers’ or­gan­i­sa­tions, sugar mills in Ma­ha­rash­tra owe Rs 4,500 crores to sug­ar­cane cul­ti­va­tors in pend­ing dues.

A group of pro­test­ers torched the of­fice of Kr­ishna Sugar Fac­tory at Karad in Satara dis­trict on Fri­day, a po­lice of­fi­cial said, adding some im­por­tant doc­u­ments, com­put­ers and fur­ni­ture were de­stroyed in the blaze.

He said of­fences were reg­is­tered against uniden­ti­fied per­sons by the Karad ru­ral po­lice.

The of­fice of an­other sugar fac­tory in neigh­bour­ing San­gli was set on fire on Satur­day morn­ing, an of­fi­cial from the Is­lam­pur po­lice sta­tion said.

Pro­test­ers also van­dalised and tried to torch the of­fice of Kranti Sugar Fac­tory at Walwa in San­gli dis­trict on Satur­day and later fled the spot, the of­fi­cials said.

Of­fences were reg­is­tered against uniden­ti­fied per­sons for mis­chief and house-tres­pass, he said, adding no ar­rest had been made so far. Farm­ers gath­ered at Gu­ru­datt Sugar Fac­tory’s of­fice at Shi­rol in Kolhapur on Satur­day, seek­ing bet­ter prices for their pro­duce, a po­lice of­fi­cial said.

The pro­test­ers, be­long­ing to a lo­cal farm­ers’ or­gan­i­sa­tion, broke into the locked of­fice and van­dalised it, he said. The Shi­rol po­lice said it has booked 65 peo­ple for ri­ot­ing and un­law­ful as­sem­bly but no ar­rest has been made yet.

“The in­for­ma­tion given by the state sugar com­mis­sioner clearly states that sugar fac­to­ries have not paid dues worth Rs 4,500 crores to farm­ers,” said Yo­gesh Pande, the spokesper­son of the Swab­hi­mani Shetkari Sangh­tana, a farm­ers’ or­gan­i­sa­tion.

He said, “Sugar fac­to­ries claim that they still have un­sold stocks of sugar from the pre­vi­ous year. But these fac­to­ries have earned very well from the sale of mo­lasses, ethanol and other by-prod­ucts”.

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