Rajasthan farmers to agitate for more water | india | Hindustan Times
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Rajasthan farmers to agitate for more water

india Updated: Nov 19, 2007 18:36 IST

Farmers in Rajasthan have said they would continue protesting until the government meets their demand of more water for irrigation.

The farmers plan to hold massive protests in Sri Ganganagar and Bikaner districts if the government does not yield to their demand.

Farmers in the belt alleged that they had not been receiving adequate supply of water from the Indira Gandhi canal for irrigation, especially for their wheat crop. They also said supply was erratic and instances of water pilferage were increasing.

"Official apathy makes matters worse for us," said Rameshwar Jat, a farmer.

Hetram Beniwal, leader of the Kisan Majdoor and Vyapari Sangarsh Samiti, two farmers' bodies, told reporters: "There are also allegations of officials misleading district and departmental authorities by claiming that canal water reaches all fields."

Beniwal said the farmers would hold a rally in Khajuwala on Nov 30.

"We also plan to organise a kisan sabha (farmers meet) in Gharsana on Dec 3," he added.

The Kisan Majdoor and Vyapari Sangarsh Samiti have been leading the agitation for more water since 2004.

"Besides Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts, we would also hold protests in Bikaner," he said.

"Our agitation would be peaceful but if the government tries to scuttle our agitation it should be ready to face the consequences," said Beniwal.

Protests on the issue in Sri Ganganagar and Hanumangarh districts had become violent in 2004 and again in 2006, when six people were killed in police firing.

Army was called in and curfew was imposed in some of the towns and villages to maintain peace.