MYSURU: A group of sugarcane farmers tried to stage a protest in front of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s residence here on Thursday, demanding a revision in cane prices and wanting payment arrears from sugar factories to be cleared expeditiously. They were, however, arrested.
The police had deployed additional personnel on the roads leading to the CM’s residence, where the protesters were arrested, with plans to demonstrate against the government’s alleged apathy. There was also some altercation between the farmers and the police.
The policemen failed to give any reason for the arrest, terming it as a precautionary measure. Sugarcane Growers Association president Kurbur Shanthakumar alleged that Siddaramaiah had failed to ensure justice to cane growers, from the sugar factories falling in the Varuna constituency. Accusing the highhandedness of the police, he wondered why the CM was not doing much, when the sugar factories in the rest of the state had paid revised prices, while farmers who wanted to demand the same in Mysuru were arrested.
He said the farmers were not paid an additional Rs 150 per tonne announced by the government the previous year and demanded Rs 3,580 per tonne of sugarcane.
The striking farmers questioned the double standards of the government for giving 24-hour power supply to many industries while failing to provide even five-hour power to run irrigation pump sets, as assured by the government while demanding a further 10 hours for farmers. The government that declared 220 taluks as drought-hit, did not start relief works like paying compensation and providing drinking water, or fodder to cattle, they alleged.