Davangere farmers were shifted to Chitradurga on December 25
‘What will farmers do if their only source of livelihood is taken away?’
Reopening of Bhadra sugar factory demanded
Chitradurga: About 25 farmers, including 18 women from Davangere district, who had been lodged in the district jail here have begun an indefinite fast from Monday.
The farmers who were shifted on December 25 from Davangere are protesting against the proposed acquisition of 180 acres of land by the Davangere Urban Development Authority (DUDA) in Davangere, and demanding the reopening of the Bhadra Cooperative Sugar Factory.
Speaking to presspersons at the jail here on Monday, farmers’ leader Tejaswi Patil, a resident of the Doddabati area of Davangere, who is spearheading the agitation, alleged that the DUDA was taking away farmers’ livelihood by acquiring fertile land for a housing project.
“Land is the only source of livelihood for farmers. Where will they go if their only means to livelihood is taken away? What about the future of the over 66 families who are dependent on the land? The Government will pay compensation, but how will the money help farmers who do not know any other occupation?” he asked.
Mr. Patil also said that farmers were demanding reopening of the Bhadra sugar factory which would help in providing employment to the people of Davangere and neighbouring districts, besides revenue for sugarcane farmers in the region.
The leaders had met Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on the issue, who had promised action, but had not lived up to his promise.
Mr. Patil said that the farmers would continue their protest until their demands were fulfilled.
Meanwhile, Jail Superintendent Basavaraj Gadekar told the presspersons that the condition of the protesting farmers was being monitored continuously.
“We have called the district surgeon and the doctors of the district hospital to monitor their condition. So far, no one has needed medical attention. However, we have stationed an ambulance outside the jail for any emergency”, he said.
Meanwhile, several members of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and other farmers’ unions met the agitators at the jail to express their solidarity.
Meanwhile, Meanwhile, Ramachandrappa, a farmer, and his wife Anusuyamma got a shock of their lives on Sunday when they learnt that their house had been burgled.
The couple are among the 25 farmers who have been lodged inside the jail.