Maharashtra: Farmers clash with police
Fresh violence were reported from Maharashtra on Wednesday as protesting sugarcane farmers clashed with the police in Kolhapur district of the state.
The police resorted to lathi-charge after protesters, who were staging a road blockade, pelted stones at them, reports said.
The protesters also torched a police van.
According to reports, the representatives of the farmers, who met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday, are like to meet on Wednesday to decide the future strategy.
Chavan urged them to cancel the protests and not to resort to violence.
The leader of the delegation, however, called the meeting with the CM inconclusive.
The agitating farmers, who have been pressing for a rise in the minimum support price (MSP) of sugarcane, have been protesting against the arrest of MP and chief of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana Raju Shetty.
A farmer was killed when police opened fire on a crowd of agitating farmland activists in Vasgade village in Sangli district of Maharashtra on Monday.
Another farmer was also killed when a truck ran over him during an agitation in Kolhapur.
The ongoing agitation began last week took a violent turn on Monday when police arrested two prominent leaders of the agitation.
Shetty, who served as the leader of the farmers, and his close associate, Sada Khot were arrested on Monday from Indapur.
They were as they announced a statewide move to block all major roads and highways to press for their demands.
Among other things, the protesters demand a minimum support price of Rs 3,000 for sugarcane growers.
Social activist tunred politician Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday condemned the police firing incident on a crowd of agitating farmland activists in Maharashtra and demanded the release of Shetty.
"V strongly condemn Maha govt action of firing at farmers. Release raju Shetty, accept farmer's price hike demand n adequate cmpnstion 4 dead," Kejriwal tweeted.
"That's why farmers committing suicides in Maha. PM, they don't need charity. They don't need ur package. They need fair price of their crops," he said.
"How wud [would] this diwali be for the families of the 2 farmers who died in police firing yesterday bcoz they wanted better prices for their crops," Kejriwal said.
Speaking on Shetty, the social activist said: "Raju Shetty is an MP and a v [very] respected farmer leader who has been fighting for better sugarcane prices for farmers. Raju Shetty is not a criminal. He was protesting for farmers and was arrested. I wanted to go n [and] meet him in jail. How can govt stop me?"