Farmers stage protest against delayed drought relief

Blaming the Centre for the delay, they say that the relief released by the State government was very meagre and not enough for farmers to take up sowing in the next kharif season

April 02, 2024 10:48 pm | Updated 10:48 pm IST - Belagavi

Farmers taking out a protest march in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Belagavi on Tuesday.

Farmers taking out a protest march in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Belagavi on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: P.K. Badiger

Members of some farmers associations staged a protest in Belagavi on Tuesday against the delay in distribution of drought relief by the Union and State governments.

They shouted slogans against the two governments saying that Central and State Ministers have been blind to the plight of farmers. They said that the Union government has failed to provide relief to the State’s farmers despite the Central drought assessment team touring drought-hit districts over four months ago.

The relief released by the State government was very meagre and not enough for farmers to take up sowing in the next kharif season, they added.

Krishik Samaj leader Sidagouda Modagi said that the Union government is following anti-farmer import and export policies.

“Despite several appeals, the Union government has allowed duty free imports of foodgrains, lentils and cash crops like arecanut. These have led to a crash in farm produce prices and farmers are suffering,” he said.

“There are reports of the Union government planning to allow import of milk and milk produce from Australia and New Zealand to India. Such decisions will lead to mass destruction of farmers,” he said.

Farmers leader Choonapa Pujari accused the State government of failing to act against sugar factories that have retained dues to farmers.

“The government has not taken any strict measures against sugar factory owners who have failed to release long-pending dues to sugarcane growing farmers. This is because most owners are politicians and they don’t act against each other.,” he said.

“Some of them have taken huge loans but have failed to repay them. The government or the banks do not act against them. However, they initiate strict action against farmers who do not repay small amounts in time,” he said.

They walked from the Rani Channamma Circle to the Deputy Commissioner’s office. And, some farmers got into an altercation with the police when they tried to lay a siege to the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

Some agitated protestors pushed around some police officers, including Deputy Commissioner of Police Rohan Jagadish. The police pushed them back and ensured that they did not cross the barricades.

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