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35 pink bollworm pest affected farmers arrested after police foil their bid to immolate themselves in Aurangabad

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Aurangabad | Wednesday, Feb 14 2018 IST
At least 35 pink bollworm pestaffected farmers were arrested by the police who foiled theiralleged bid to immolate themselves in front of Agriculture office atKranthi chowk here on Wednesday, to protest against the Maharashtragovernment's failure to give compensation to them.

It may be recalled that Agriculture Minister Pandurang Phundkar hadassured to provide relief to these farmers during the recent wintersession of the state Legislature.

Farmers, led by the former Zilla Parishad member Santosh Jadhav, whohad kept secret the venue of immolation today, gathered in front ofthe Agriculture office here, doused themselves with kerosene andtried to immolate themselves.

However, alert policemen detained all of them and filed casesagainst all of them under sections 139, 143, 309, 353 and 47 ofIndian Penal Code and section 135 of Bombay Police Act, said apolice official from the concerned Kranthi Chowk police station.

Mr Jadhav had written to the divisional assistant director ofAgriculture department a week ago, warning about the 'FarmersImmolation Agitation' if the government failed to deposit thepromised compensation amount into their accounts.

He had also demanded to file criminal cases against the BT cottoncompanies and the government officials who had certified their seeds.

Due to the infestation of the bollworm pest, 34.55 lakh hectarescotton crop, including 1.81 lakh in the Aurangabad district, wasaffected across the state.

Mr Phundkar had announced compensation of Rs 37,500 per hectare tothe affected farmers of irrigated lands and Rs 30,800 per hectarefor farmers of non-irrigated lands, but two months since theannoucement government has failed to fulfil its promise. UNI VKB SS VS2342

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0169-1250694.Xml

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