A farmer was killed when police opened fire at agitating farmers in Sangli on Monday afternoon. Another farmer was killed while deflating the trye of a truck during an agitation in Kolhapur. At least 25 policemen were injured during the violent protest across western Maharashtra.
Kundalik Balu Kokate (22), a young member of Swabhumani Shetkari Sanghatana, died in Indapur while deflating the tyre of a truck during the agitation. Chandrakant Nalawade 32), died in the police firing in Palus taluk of Sangli. The ongoing six-day old farmers’ agitation turned violent on Monday when police arrested Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana chief Raju Shetty. Shetty, who served as the leader of farmers, is also an MP.
Shetty was arrested from Indapur in Pune district on Monday morning, just before they were set to launch a state-wide agitation to block all major roads and highways to press for their demand of Rs3,000 per tonne for sugar cane as first installment.
Shetty has been leading the farmers agitation demanding minimum support price of Rs3,000 for sugarcane growers.
Opposing the arrests, angry mobs of agitating farmers pelted stones and attacked a police van, while law-enforcers burst teargas shells and later opened fire in the air to control the mobs in Sangli district.
However, one of the agitators, Chandrakant Nalawade, sustained a bullet injury and later succumbed, a Sangli district police official said.
The agitation by sugarcane farmers in the state entered the sixth day on Monday. In parts of Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara districts of western Maharashtra, the protests turned violent.
Farmers staged road blocks, completely stopping incoming and outbound traffic on the Pune-Bangalore highway, and also in the three districts. Several thousands of vehicles and passengers were stranded on all routes as the agitators attacked some vehicles and torched two police vehicles. At least six state transport buses were damaged.