Staff Correspondent

Sugarcane growers planned to lay siege to office complex

BAGALKOT: The authorities clamped indefinite prohibitory orders in and around the Deputy Commissioner's office complex here to thwart a protest by farmers.

Sugarcane growers, who have been agitating under the banner of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (Chukki Nanjundaswamy faction) demanding Rs. 1,200 for a tonne for their produce, planned to lay siege to the office complex on Thursday.

The protesters gathered under the leadership of secretary of the sangha and zilla panchayat member Ramesh Gadadannavar and tried to advance towards the Deputy Commissioner's office. However, the police officers said that prohibition was in force in the area and they would be arrested if they tried to violate it. Mr. Gudannavar said he being a member of the zilla panchayat wanted to visit the zilla panchayat office housed in the complex. However, authorities told him he could do so if the agitators were sent back. The protesters raised slogans against the administration and managements of sugar factories. Later, they squatted on the nearby road. The Deputy Commissioner's office complex looked like a fortress with deployment over 500 police personnel. The agitators have withdrawn the rasta-roko agitation. However, they stopped sugarcane-loaded vehicles at some places.

According to reports received here, a number of sugarcane-laden tractors and lorries have been stranded at Sameerwadi, Anagwadi, Sunaga Cross, Galagali, Alur, Hipparagi and Kumabarhalla. The protesters have also closed approach roads to sugar factories such as Godavari Sugars, Jem Sugars, Prabhulingeshwar Sugars. Efforts were on to clear the blockade.