Farmers stage protest with langurs to highlight their plight

Distraught over the unabated destruction of their crops by monkeys, aggrieved farmers from various mandals staged a novel protest with a few langurs here on Friday demanding urgent steps, including implementation of biological control method, to drive out the simians and protection for their crops.

They took out a rally under the aegis of the CPI (ML-New Democracy) here to highlight the huge losses suffered by them due to damage of their crops by monkeys and to draw the attention of the district administration to their plight.

Serious menace

The three langurs, which were brought by the protesters, hogged the limelight. Later, addressing the protesters, CPI (ML-ND) district secretary Potu Ranga Rao alleged that the monkey menace had assumed serious proportions in several villages, particularly in the tribal sub-plan mandals of the Bhadrachalam Agency.

About 180 farmers suffered extensive damage to their crops, mainly maize, in the attacks by packs of ferocious monkeys in six villages under Marrigudem gram panchayat in Yellendu mandal.

“The release of monkeys, those caught in plain areas, into the Agency areas has aggravated the problem subjecting the farmers to nightmarish experiences,” he alleged.

The government, which is motivating the farmers to adopt scientific agricultural practices, should employ scientific strategies to keep the monkeys at bay and protect the crops of the hapless farmers, he said.

All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) State general secretary K. Rangaiah demanded that the government evolve a foolproof mechanism to catch the monkeys and lodge them either in zoos or release them in the forest.

The speakers made various suggestions such as pressing into action langurs to control the monkey menace in adherence to the biological control strategy in the Agency as well as in the plains.

They further sought adequate compensation to the farmers for crop damage.