Protesting against the non-payment of Rs 8 crore to cotton growers by Sunil Talatule, owner of Shrikrushna Ginning Mill and son of an influential RSS leader, farmers affiliated with the Congress outfit Bharatiya Kisan Khet Mazdoor Congress have threatened to set themselves on fire in front of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters at Mahal on February 28.
According to Prem Gajbhare of BKKMS, Sunil, son of the late Prabhakar Talatule, procured around 20,000 quintals of raw cotton from farmers for his mill at Selu in Wardha district from November 2014 to April 2015. However, Talatule failed to pay the cotton growers.
Gajbhare said around 400 cotton growers suffered because of non-payment of dues by the mill and they faced hardship as they were unable to repay crop loans and keep the household running.
“We have sent a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to intervene and ensure Talatule pays the distressed farmers. But nothing was done,” he alleged.
Gajbhare alleged Talatule claimed that action can’t be taken against him as his father was an influential figure in the Sangh Parivar. “We have lodged a police complaint against Sunil Talatule in this regard,” he said.
The Selu police registered an FIR under sections 420 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and arrested Talatule. Later he got bail from the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court. “It is unfortunate that when distressed farmers are committing suicide every day in Vidarbha, farmers are being deprived by people from the ruling party,” Gajbhare said, adding no action has been taken against Talatule even after raising the issue before senior BJP and RSS functionaries and the chief minister.