Agitated over the government's sugarcane pricing policy, several groups of farmers on Thursday resorted to arson and vandalism at sugar mill offices in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district, police said.
Irate farmers barged into offices of sugar mills in Sisauli, Tetana, Bhaurakala and other localities in Muzaffarnagar district, some 350 km from Lucknow, and damaged the furniture and set fire to documents and records.
In a few places in the district, some farmers also clashed with police officials who tried to intervene.
"Taking into account the protest by the sugarcane growers, the security near sugar mills has been strengthened," police inspector Ajai Kumar Gautam told reporters in Muzaffarnagar.
"Farmers have threatened that they will not allow processing work in sugar mills until their demands are met," he added.
In the last few days, agitated farmers have burnt truckloads of raw sugar in Muzaffarnagar and several other districts in western Uttar Pradesh, police said.
The central government has announced a price of Rs.129.85 per quintal for sugarcane during the 2009-10 crushing season under the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) system, while the State Advisory Price (SAP) has been set between Rs.165 and Rs.170 per quintal.
If a state government fixes its SAP higher than the FRP, it will have to pay the difference.
Farmers want Rs.280 per quintal for their produce.