Protesting farmers torch police jeep as fresh clash erupts at Kolhapur
Protesting sugarcane farmers who were demanding better price for their crop torched a police jeep and pelted stones in a fresh clash with cops in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra today.
According to media reports farmers clashed with police personnel when the latter baton charged to disperse the protesters while they were staging a roadblock.
Additional companies of the State Reserve Police Force have been rushed as agitating farmers have blocked roads at various places in Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara districts.
The representatives of the farmers met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan yesterday, who asked them to call off their protests and not to resort to violence.
Chavan has said that the prices of sugarcane would be determined only after a discussion in the state assembly during the upcoming winter session.
Leaders of the agitators are about to hold a meeting today to decide their future course of action. India Against Corruption (IAC) member Kumar Vishwas is expected to meet Raju Shetti in Pune's Yerawada Jail today to lend their solidarity with the farmers.
The protests turned violent on Monday after the police arrested Raju Shetti, MP and chief of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, who has been leading the farmers' agitation.
On Monday, two farmers died and three policemen were injured in Sangli when the protest turned violent. Since then tension is prevailing in the area.
Farmers are demanding Rs 3,000 per tonne for their produce while Maharashtra sugar co-operatives have agreed to give a base price of Rs 2,300 per tonne. The Maharashtra government has refused to intervene in the pricing agreement.