State tries to shift MLA Rana from jail to hospital
Tension prevailed at the premises of the central jail in Amravati on Thursday evening when the jail authorities tried to shift the independent legislator, Ravi Rana to a government-run medical college and hospital in Nagpur after citing his deteriorating health.
Rana, who was arrested by the police during a farmers’ agitation, is on an indefinite hunger strike demanding a better remunerative price for raw cotton since Monday. His eight supporters who were in jail, along with him, were already shifted to the hospital on Thursday.
“This is undemocratic,” says Chandrakumar Jajodia, a close lieutenant of Rana. The move created a fresh furore and anguish among the agitated farmers. “This is ploy of the government to shuttle the on-going agitation of cotton growers in the region,” he added and informed that around 5,000 supporters of Rana gathered at the jail premises to protest the state move.
Rana’s supporters who were shifted to the hospital, however, refused to take anything and continued their hunger strike there.
The chief minister Prithviraj Chavan’s emissary and the Maharashtra minister for Industries, Narayan Rane talked with Rana over telephone and tried to end his fast. However, the legislator refused to relent.
His actress wife, Navneet Kaur-Rana launched an indefinite strike at Badnera, along with Yuva Swabhimani Sanghatana in support of hiking the minimum guarantee price of raw cotton from Rs 3,300 to Rs 6,000 per quintal.
The agitation on more money for the raw cotton entered on the fourth day across Vidarbha, according to reports reaching here this evening. However, there were no reports of violence during the agitation in the region.
Farmers and farmer leaders took out morchas and resorted to "rasta roko" in several places, including Wardha, Hinganghat, Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Washim, Pandharkawda and Wani, reports said.
The vehicular traffic on Varanasi-Hyderabad paralysed for over two hours when agitators blocked the national highway at Pandharkawda. Over 60 agitators were detained by the police.