Sugar row makes farmers hit the road in Uttar Pradesh

The impasse over non-starting of sugar mills have led to violent protests across the state with farmers staging protest demanding re-opening of mills while the private millers refusing to do so till their demand to rationalise sugar prices was met.

A sugarcane farmer had committed suicide in Khiri on Thursday. 

In Balrampur sugar mill in Khiri, security staff had to open fire on the sugarcane farmers when they were protesting against suicide by a farmer yesterday. The cane farmers pelted stones at the sugar mills and demonstrated with the body of Satyapal Singh, who committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree as he was burdened with a loan of Rs 2 lakh.

Retaliating to the protest, security staff of the mill opened fire to disperse agitating farmers. They also used water cannons.

Similar violence was also reported from Shamli district in west UP where activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) demonstrated in front of a sugar mills demanding the payment of dues and to start the crushing.

Farmers in the western Uttar Pradesh district of Muzaffarnagar too staged protest against mill owners for not purchasing their produce at the price fixed by the state government.
Congress and BJP have held the UP government for the violence outside the sugar mills.

Congress UP president Nirmal Khatri has announced that party workers will come on the streets and agitate if all the sugar mills in the state do not start crushing by 7 December. ‘The government is insensitive towards farmers’ issue and is interested in doing politics,’ he said.

State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai too criticised the UP government for the delay in start of the crushing season and alleged that the Samajwadi Party government was in nexus with the private sugar mill owners for the woes of the cane farmers.

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