Scuffle between police, farmers amid protest demanding waiving off loans, compensation | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Scuffle between police, farmers amid protest demanding waiving off loans, compensation

ByHirekop Rajan Sameul, Bengaluru
Apr 04, 2024 08:30 AM IST

The scuffle between the farmers and the personnel ensued when the former attempted to enter the office complex of deputy commissioner, who had failed to arrive in time to accept their petition

A scuffle broke between the police and farmers, who along with seers of several Lingayat mutts in Belagavi district took to the streets on Wednesday demanding waiving off loans and compensation for crop loss, according to people familiar with the matter.

farmers had marched from Rani Channamma Circle to draw attention to various farm-related issues, including dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of loan recovery. (PTI)
farmers had marched from Rani Channamma Circle to draw attention to various farm-related issues, including dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of loan recovery. (PTI)

The police said that the farmers had marched from Rani Channamma Circle to draw attention to various farm-related issues, including dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of loan recovery. The scuffle between the farmers and the personnel ensued when the former attempted to enter the office complex of deputy commissioner Nitesh Patil, who had failed to arrive in time to accept their petition. They soon breached the barricades and entered the complex despite heavy police presence, the police stated.

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According to Belagavi Police commissioner Eda Martin, despite the farmers’ unruly behaviour, the situation was handled tactfully to prevent any untoward incidents. “Though farmers took the law into their hands and behaved rashly with us, we handled the situation wisely giving no room to further untoward incidents,” he said.

Responding to the formers, Deputy Commissioner Nitesh Patil clarified that he was unaware about the alleged harassment of financial institutions deputing recovery agencies and warned of filing criminal cases if found attended farmer to recover the farm loan. “Not only those been to debtors to recover the loan but also the heads of the agencies will be booked with criminal acts if found tortured, harassed the farmer,” he said.

Convener of Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangh in Belagavi block Chunappa Pujeri, who also participated in the protest, said that the farmers were outraged due to the government’s negligence in addressing farm emergencies. “The farmers are outraged because of government negligence in attending to the farm emergencies as well not implementing its order regarding recovery of loan,” he said.

He further said that although the district administration had instructed private and nationalised financial institutions not to recover farm loans until further notice, the recovery agencies continued to harass farmers. “Belagavi deputy commissioner just passed an order over the matter but didn’t pass the same to the bankers,” he said, while adding “The administration must send the order to the farmers so that they can show it to the recovery agents. Besides, they should also paste the order copy on the main door of the financial institutions.”

Amid severe drought affecting north Karnataka, with agriculture activities halted due to water scarcity and crops withering, farmer leader Prakash Nayak criticised the government for indirectly recovering loans instead of providing relief. Srikant Shirahatti, another farmer leader, warned of potential farmer unrest if financial assistance was not promptly provided.

Kadasiddeshwar Swami of Shuvapur mutt urged both the Centre and state government to compensate for crop loss, deal with financial institutions employing private agencies for loan recovery, and completely waive off farm loans, including those for purchasing tractors and agricultural equipment.

“Criminal cases must be filed against the head of the banks who authorise agencies to recover the loan who harassing and torturing farmers mentally and physically, causing to suicides,” the seer said.

Taking a hit on the Siddaramaiah-led government, Belagavi block Bharatiya Janata Party spokesman MB Zirali said that people were suffering badly with non availability of water and food due to the worst administration. “We would be led comfortable life if people voted to power a reliable party, he said.

Meanwhile, Belagavi district Congress spokesman Vinay Navalgatti said that BJP was misleading and utilising the farmers for its political gain.

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