Activists of the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), the CPI and the CPI(M) staged a ‘dharna’ in front of the Collector’s office on Friday to protest against the State government’s delay in meeting cane farmers’ demand for higher advance.

Farmer’ organisations are demanding a higher first advance than the fair and remunerative price (FRP) as announced by the government.

They are demanding Rs. 4,500 per tonne of sugarcane — including Rs. 3,000 as cost of production in the first instalment — which the owners of the co-operative sugarcane factories have not agreed to.

Various social and professional organisations have issued statements expressing their discontent against the government’s delay.

Bharat Patankar, chief of Shramik Mukti Dal of Satara, said that instead of responding positively to farmers’ demand, the government was suppressing farmers using police lathis and bullets. He said the government should compensate any damage of property because of the agitation.

Opposition leader Eknath Khadse met family members of farmer Chandrakant Nalawade, who fell to police firing, at Vasgade in Kolhapur district on Thursday.

He told presspersons that Finance Minister Jayant Patil’s verbal tirade against the farmers’ agitation and their leaders turned the agitation violent. He demanded a judicial inquiry into Monday’s police firing.