Farmers clash with police in Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow, Nov 26 ( Agitated over the government’s sugarcane policy, farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat district disrupted a rail route, targeted public vehicles and clashed with the police, officials said Thursday.

Several groups of farmers resorted to vandalism in Muzaffarnagar’s Ahlam town, about 350 km from Lucknow, and also damaged rail tracks there.

“We have deployed additional security forces in the district. Farmers are just not ready to hear anyone and have threatened to intensify their agitation in the coming days,” Muzaffarnagar Superintendent of Police Raju Babu told reporters.

According to police, angry farmers also blockaded the Delhi-Saharanpur highway and other busy roads in Muzaffarnagar, where they damaged a number of public vehicles.

Farmers in Baghpat district, about 400 km from Lucknow, also resorted to vandalism and forced the closure of a number of shops in various parts of the district.

“We have strengthened security in the district, particularly in those areas that have sugar mills,” Superintendent of Police (Baghpat) Deepak Kumar told reporters.

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.

Up in arms against the state government over the state advisory price (SAP) of sugarcane that is fixed between Rs.165 and Rs.170 per quintal, the farmers are demanding that the SAP be set at Rs.280 per quintal.