Collector denies allegations that farmers were threatened

Members of the Tamil Nadu Milk Producers’ Welfare Association, who stopped supplying milk to the Cooperative Milk Producers Union (Aavin) on Tuesday to demand higher procurement price, withdrew their strike on Thursday.

“We were forced to take the decision due to mounting pressure from representatives of the ruling party and officials from various government departments. Milk supply would be back to normal from Thursday evening”, president of the association K.A. Sengotuvel told presspersons.

The statewide protest was to urge the State Government to increase the procurement price of a litre of cow and buffalo milk to Rs. 30 and Rs. 40 respectively. They also sought control over the price escalation of fodder and compensation of Rs. 25,000 for each cow that died of foot and mouth disease.

“Farmers claimed that they were threatened that the government’s free mixers, grinders and fans would not be given to those who took part in the strike”, he added.

Mr. Sengotuvel said that many farmers had to given in as they depended on various government departments for their various needs. We expected the Government to listen to our demands and not to resort to threats”, he lamented.

“We will decide further course of action, including another strike, at our executive committee meeting in the next few days”, he concluded.

When contacted by The Hindu Salem Collector K. Maharabushanam denied the allegations of milk producers that they were threatened. “Officials from Aavin were only persuading the farmers to supply milk. No government official or staff forced them to supply milk”, he said.

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