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Sugarcane farmers withdraw fast

Staff Correspondent

BIJAPUR: Sugarcane farmers from Indi and Sindagi taluks on Friday withdrew their fast-unto-death agitation following the reassurance given by Minister for Textiles Appasaheb Pattanashetti that the Government would either ensure the harvest of their crop before the onset of monsoon or give compensation if the crop remained uncrushed.

Opposition Leader in the Bijapur Zilla Panchayat Panchappa Kalburgi, who is leading the agitation, said they were withdrawing their agitation but would launch a relay hunger strike till April 28. By then the Government should ensure that sugar factories in the region started harvesting sugarcane.

Also, the Government should announce a compensation package based on the Maharashtra model. If the Government failed to meet the demands, he said, they would intensify the agitation from April 29.

The agitation venue at the Deputy Commissioner's office witnessed a series of development before farmers toned down their tough posture. Mr. Pattanashetti called on the agitators twice.

Mr. Patttanashetti spoke to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy over phone. Mr. Kumaraswamy asked Mr. Pattanashetti to meet him at Inapur in Athani taluk in Belgaum district on Saturday where the former is scheduled to make an overnight stay. Mr. Pattanashetti said another direction would be given to the factories through the Chief Minister.

Deputy Commissioner V.B. Patil; MLC and Chairman of Jamkhandi Sugars Ltd., Siddu Nyamgouda; MLAs Shivanand Patil and R.K. Rathod spoke.

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