Police resort to lathi-charge as seeds shortage causes overcrowding of farmers in Ballari

Farmers being dispersed in Ballari on Monday.  

Farmers who arrived in Ballari on Monday for purchasing chilli seeds for sowing were lathi-charged and dispersed.

As per information available, hundreds of farmers thronged the city for purchasing chilli seeds produced by Syngenta and the scarcity of the seeds caused overcrowding.

A video clip of police personnel dispersing a mob went viral later in the day. It was learnt that trouble began after the distributor who was assigned to sell seeds declared closure for the day though a large number of farmers were still standing in queue to purchase seeds.

However, the district authorities denied that the police resorted to any lathi-charge.

“There was no lathi-charge, as there was no need for it. The police simply raised their lathis to disperse the mob when the situation started going out of control,” Deputy Director of Horticulture S.P. Bhogi told mediapersons.

The farmers, however, said that the State government has failed to ensure adequate supply of chilli seeds in Ballari and condemned the police for beating them up.

Ballari is one of the districts that is facing a severe shortage of chilli seeds for sowing.

There have been several complaints of chilli seeds being hoarded to create artificial shortage and to sell them at inflated rates in the black market.

Taking the complaints seriously, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa had, in a recent review meeting in Ballari, directed the vigilance squad to conduct raids on illegal hoarders and ensure proper supply of seeds.

To address the chilli seeds shortage, the Horticulture Department has arranged for the sale of Syngenta 5531 variety at its office and a distributor has been asked to sell 100 grams to each farmer.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 1:15:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/police-resort-to-lathi-charge-as-seeds-shortage-causes-overcrowding-of-farmers/article34814466.ece

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