Farmers under the banner of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene (Puttannaiah faction) on Tuesday laid siege to the Mulbagal Taluk Office to demand that the taluk be declared drought-hit and relief be provided to them.

Farmers gathered on the office premises along with their cattle to highlight their plight and that of the livestock due to failure of rain.

Kolar district is reeling under drought for the last seven years, the protesters said, and demanded that a special package be announced for the district to provide relief to farmers. Goshalas should be opened at panchayat level and compensation of Rs. 10,000 an acre be given to farmers who have suffered crop loss, they demanded. They submitted a memorandum to the tahsildar. Raitha sangha’s district unit president K. Narayana Gowda was present.

At a meeting here recently, district unit president of another faction of the two organisations K. Ganesh Gowda alleged that the Union and the State governments had not formulated any programmes to tackle drought in the district.

The government should announce a relief package for farmers based on the Vidarbha model, he said. District working president of the organisations Bisanahalli Byche Gowda demanded that illegal sand extraction be stopped in the region. Livestock was suffering due to shortage of water and fodder, he added. Sangha leader T. Venkatesh Gowda charged banks with not helping farmers in the drought-affected district. Loans of farmers should be waived, he urged.

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