Staff Correspondent

‘Restart crushing at Bhadra Sugar Factory’

Farmers voluntarily climb into police vans

Over 134 farmers, including 18 women, arrested: SP

DAVANGERE: A large number of sugarcane growers took out a procession here on Friday as part of their “Jail Bharo” agitation to protest against the State Government’s inaction with regard to restart crushing at the Bhadra Sugar Factory here.

The agitators raised slogans against the Government, Minister for Agricultural Marketing and Sugar Shivaraj S. Thangadagi and district in charge Minister S.A. Ravindranath for “not taking any initiative” to restart crushing at the factory. Farmers of Karuru and Bathi villages joined the sugarcane growers and they raised slogans against the Davangere Urban Development Authority’s for its proposal to acquire fertile land in their villages to create new residential layouts.

The police arrested the farmers when they blocked the road near Gandhi Circle. The farmers voluntarily climbed into the police vans saying that they would continue their struggle.

Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil told The Hindu that over 134 farmers, including 18 women, were arrested. Since there wasn’t enough space in the Davangere sub-jail, the authorities were considering shifting the farmers to jails in neighbouring districts such as Chitradurga and Bellary.

The farmers, led by State General Secretary for the Sugarcane Growers’ Association Tejasvi Patel, said that they would not seek bail and they would continue their agitation till the Government conceded their demands.

The police had made security arrangements near the DUDA office, Deputy Commissioner’s office and near Gandhi circle.