Bengaluru, Nov 18 (PTI) Driving trucks with sugarcane, a group of farmers Sunday ‘gatecrashed’ into “Suvarna Vidhana Soudha”, the legislature complex in northern district of Belagavi protesting Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s reported cancellation of his visit to meet royts agitating over payments due from sugar mills.Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown: Belagavi District Enhances Restrictions at Inter-State Border Points | Check Here Why
In a strong reaction, Kumaraswamy described those who barged into the legislature complex as “goondas” and accused them of defaming the entire farming community. Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown: State Govt May Relax Curbs in 11 Districts, BS Yediyurappa to Make Announcement Today
Police said about ten farmers in four trucks forcefully entered the complex, but all were detained and the vehicles removed immeidately. Also Read - Karnataka Lockdown: State Allows Autos, Taxis to Ply; Relaxes Restrictions in 19 Districts | Full List of Guidelines Here
Farmers in Belagavi have been protesting for the last few days demanding clearance of their pending arrears by sugar factories for the cane supplied and announcement of purchase price for sugarcane for the current season as had been done in neighbouring Maharashtra.
They had withdrawn their protest on Friday claiming that the chief minister has agreed to meet them in Belagvai Monday to discuss their issues.
About 10 farmers broke open the gate of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha and took four lorries inside, while keeping four more outside,” Belagavi Police Commissioner D C Rajappa said.
They were agitated claiming that the Chief Minister had promised to hold meeting with them at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha Monday, but now called them to Bengaluru, he told reporters.
Farmers, who were agitating, have been taken into custody and all the lorries driven outside, he said adding We will take further action in accordance with law.” Asked whether there was any security lapse, he said There was security, we had made heavy deployment near the Deputy Commissioners office as farmers were gathering there.
They came here by diverting our attention.” The farmers had even threatened to disrupt the winter session of the state legislature scheduled to be held in Suvarna Vishana Soudha next month.
With, reports emerging about Kumaraswamy cancelling his Belgavi visit and scheduling a meeting with them in Bengaluru on November 20, farmers resumed their protest.
According to Chief Ministers programme list for Monday, shared with the media, he will be in Bengaluru attending various meetings, including chairing a cabinet meeting.
Demanding that the Chief Minister come to Belagavi, a farmer leader said they will not visit Bengaluru.
Kumaraswamy had promised to us that he will come to Belagavi on November 19 to protect our interest, as you are not coming as promised we are protesting by taking our lorries inside Suvarna Vidhana Soudha. Our demand is that chief minister should come here, he said.
Reacting to the developments, Kumaraswamy, speaking at an event here, noted that farmers were peace loving people and termed those who barged into Suvarna Vidhana Soudha as goondas.
“Those who have behaved in the way they did today are goondas who are defaming farming community by using their name, he said.
Noting that he was not against farmers, Kumaraswamy said he would not allow such violence to happen.
The Chief Minister also hit out at the media, accusing it of instigating the protesters.
Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy’s remarks against a woman farmer while questioning her ‘silence’ in the last four years on the arrears issue and her farming background, evoked sharp reaction from her.
Hitting out at her for her reported comments that he was unfit to be Chief Minister, Kumaraswamy the factories had not paid the farmers’ dues for last four years while he become chief minister only five months ago.
The visibly upset woman farmer termed Kumaraswamys comments as an insult to women community and demanded an apology from him.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.