Sugarcane farmers clash with police in Kolhapur

Police today lathicharged sugarcane farmers who staged a blockade in Dindanerli on the Kolhapur Gargoti road while pressing for their demand of better prices for their produce.

Later, the protestors allegedly pelted stones and burnt a police jeep, police sources said.

In the morning, the sugarcane farmers and followers of the 'Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana' blocked the Kolhapur Gargoti road following which police allegedly used force to clear the road.

This led to a clash between the farmers and police and the angry protestors then torched a police vehicle and hurled stones at them, the sources said.

A farmer was killed in police firing in Sangli on Monday after a group of peasants tried to lock a police team inside a hotel at Nandre village after learning that MP and Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana leader Raju Shetty was detained in Pune district.

Shetty was spearheading the agitation of farmers against refusal of cooperative sugar factories in Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur districts of western Maharashtra to give Rs 3,000 per ton as first advance on sugarcane purchase this season. Factories have agreed to pay Rs 2,300 per ton.

His detention sparked largescale violence with protesting farmers torching two state transport buses and a police jeep in Pune district.

Farmers had staged road blockades at various places in western Maharashtra as per the appeal made by their leader.

Meanwhile, services of state transport buses were also disrupted following the agitation, officials said.

The ST bus services on Ichalkaranji-Sangli and Pandharpur-Solapur routes remained closed today.

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