80 sugarcane farmers arrested as they demand to see Bommai

Bengaluru City

Say no minister has paid heed to their demands

Up to 80 sugarcane farmers were taken into custody on Friday when they threatened to go to the chief minister’s office.

The farmers asked the police to either take them to the chief minister’s office or present them before a judge.

The Observer noticed the police guiding the farmers towards waiting buses. The enthusiastic farmers chanted slogans as they entered the police vehicles.

Kurubur Shanthakumar, president of the Sugarcane Farmers’ Association, informed The Observer: “Today is the 11th day of our protest, but no politician or government has done anything or paid attention to it.”

The farmers want the government to increase the price of sugarcane from Rs 2,800 a tonne to Rs 3,500.

They wanted to visit the CM’s office to ask for an increase in the price of sugarcane.

“The police are not willing to fulfill our demands. We are being prevented from visiting the chief minister’s office as it would lead to our arrest. We farmers are ready to do anything. So we will ask them to arrest us and produce us in front of a judge. We are not allowed being to meet our own CM or any other minister. We respect everyone’s decisions, be it a judge or a lawyer, but still no one wants to listen to us. Why only arrest us? Arrest ministers too. No one is listening to us, what should we do?” Shanthakumar said.

Surendra Shivanava, a farmer belonging to Haliyal, informed The Observer: “Approximately 80 to 100 farmers have been arrested. We don’t know where the police will take them. Nobody here knows where the farmers are being taken. The agitation will now rise in every taluk because farmers’ requirements are never fulfilled and we never get what we want.”
Gurubur Siddhesh, another farmer, said: “The main reason for us to protest here on the 11th day is to ask the government to increase the price for sugarcane. But the government refuses to listen to us because most sugarcane factory owners are MLAs. If the price of sugarcane is increased, then it will be difficult for them to buy the produce.”

Ajay S., a police official, said: “It is their 11th day of protest. They want the government to increase the price of sugarcane. The police are here for preventive measures in case anything goes wrong.”

Surekha, a police constable, said about 50 people were taken into custody as a preventive measure. The police were reluctant to talk.


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