Farmers lay siege to Bescom office

Incident of official apathy triggers protest; police intervene

Power skirmish: Farmers arguing with a official at Bescom office in Kolar on Monday dhphoto

Tensions ran high as a senior administrative assistant allegedly behaved “rudely” with agitating farmers. Police intervened to bring the situation under control. The officer later tendered apology to the farmers.

According to farmers’ leaders, Muniswamy, a farmer had filed an application for repair of the transformer in Holur area. Since the repairs have been outsourced to private entities, a person had received Rs 5,000 from Muniswamy and failed to turn up for repair.

Farmers approached the Bescom office on Saturday seeking information and they were told to come on Monday. Senior Administrative Assistant Murali, reportedly intercepted the farmers in the office premises and did not give any convicing answer.

Taluk president of Bharatiya Kissan Sangha, Tyagaraju and other farmers who had submitted an application seeking information, were told to resubmit the application in accordance with Right to Information Act. The farmers expressed displeasure that the fact should have been brought to their notice at the earlier instance itself.

Both the incidents widened the rift and farmers sat on dharna in front of the Bescom office insisting that the Superintending Engineer come to spot to give an explanation on load shedding. They also demanded suspension of the officer who allegedly behaved rudely and raised slogans against the state government, chief minister and energy minister.

As the temperatures ran high, Bescom staff came out of the office. The Superintending Engineer who came to spot at 2 in the noon assured of recommending the suspension of the officer.

The superintending engineer later told the farmers that 24-hour toll free number on repair of transformers will be given to farmers in 30 minutes. He said that farmers can call him in case of any problem and gave his telephone number. Dharna ended at that point.
Members of Kissan Sangha, JD(S) workers took part in the dharna.

Meanwhile, Tyagaraj said that the engineer is not receiving the calls made to obtain the toll free number. He complained that the number had not been given till evening.

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