Sugar News Details

Farmers, factories lock horns over seizure of sugar


KOLHAPUR: Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) has set a week's deadline for the government to seize sugar from the factories and clear the farmers' dues while the mills have threatened to stop operations if such action was taken against them.
Unrest among sugar cane farmers over delayed and part payment by factories had taken a violent turn on January 12 with a group of agitating peasants setting afire offices of two sugar mills and forcibly closing down four in Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts.
Tension prevailed in the Kolhapur regional office of sugar commissioner and also district collector on Thursday, when SSS workers raised slogans and some of them also threatened that the farmers' outfit would not be responsible if law and order is disturbed if their demands are not met.
A delegation of SSS met district collector and deputy director of sugar independently evening. The farmers got angry when they were told that necessary orders were not received till evening. They insisted that sugar be confiscated immediately to clear farmers' dues. The officials tried to pacify by saying that they need two weeks to complete the process to confiscate the sugar stocks.
Senior police officers intervened and organised a meeting between the deputy director, sugar; officials of the district collectorate and SSS delegation. The farmers were told that the sugar commissioner's office has started collecting information of properties of defaulting sugar mills. The SSS members were not happy with the clarification. Organization leaders Jalandar Patil and Sawkar Madnaik warned they would organise a march if farmers were not paid within eight days.
In a separate incident, a delegation of sugar factories, led by NCP leader and former minister Hasan Mushrif, met district collector Avinash Subhedar. The factory operators told the collector that they would close down all operations if the government goes ahead with its decision to confiscate the sugar stocks. A total of 12 sugar factories in Kolhapur and Sangli district have been served notices for confiscation of sugar.