UP cane growers damage rail tracks, block roads
Lucknow: Agitated over relatively low sugarcane prices suggested by the government, hundreds of farmers took to the streets Monday, damaged railway tracks and blocked highways in parts of western Uttar Pradesh, police said.
Irate farmers removed fish plates and damaged railway tracks near Bawli railway station in Baghpat district, some 400 km from Lucknow, while those in Meerut and Saharanpur districts disrupted vehicular traffic along busy roads, police added.
"Demonstrations near Bawli started early Monday. Hundreds of farmers sat on the railway tracks and even damaged these," Baghpat Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar said on phone.
"Additional security personnel have been deployed in Baghpat after the protests," Kumar added.
In Meerut, about 450 km from Lucknow, protesters stopped traffic in Dauraula, Sardhana and Partapur towns.
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.
In case a state government fixes SAP higher than FRP, it will have to pay the difference.
Farmers want Rs.280 per quintal for their produce.
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh has already said opposition parties would not allow the government to pass the pending FRP Ordinance in Parliament, and that his supporters will lay siege to Parliament House Nov 19, when the winter session is scheduled to start.
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