One person was killed yesterday when police fired on a group of protesting sugarcane farmers in the Sangli district of Maharashtra state. Tension mounted in the district after another farmers was run over by a truck.
The farmers are upset after cooperative sugar factories in Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur districts refused to give 3,000 rupees a ton as first advance on sugarcane purchase this season. The factories agreed to pay 2,300 rupees a ton.
The victims were among farmers led by Raju Shetty, a Member of Parliament and leader of Swabhiman Shetkari Sanghatana. The farmers want government to intervene to increase the minimum support price of sugarcane.
Other parts of the sugarcane belt also witnessed similar protests. A jail bharo (fill) stir was launched in Kolhapur. Farmers also organized road blockades in a number of places across Maharashtra.
The protesters burnt more than 20 buses and vandalized police vans. The State Transport Corporation has decided not to run any buses in Solapur and Pune until they get police protection.
The Shiv Sena party has called a general strike in Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara tomorrow.
According to police, a group of farmers tried to lock a police team inside a hotel at Nandre village in Sangli district after learning that Shetty had been detained in Pune district.
Police lathicharged and opened fire, in which Chandrakant Nalavde, 36, of Vasgade village in the district was injured. Civil Hospital authorities here said Nalavde succumbed to injuries on the way to hospital.
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