Mumbai: Sugarcane cutters in several parts of rural Maharashtra is being harassed by the middlemen to recover their advances given to them ahead of the season, reports Hindustan Times.
In one such case reported in Jintur of Parbhani district, an FIR was registered against middlemen under sections 365(kidnapping), 384 (extortion) and several other sections of IPC.
As per media report, as the advance given to the cutters is ascertained per tonne, the loss of weight has led to a drop in remuneration.
Since October, as many as 8 lakh cane harvesters from Beed and other parts of central Maharashtra have engaged in cane harvesting activities. They are paid around Rs 1 lakh for 180 days of the season.
Usually the season is of around 170 days but it has dropped to 110 days leading to drop of wages from Rs 90,000 to Rs 60,000 per season.
Communist Party of India (CPI) has complained to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis citing at least half a dozen cases of kidnapping and exploitation of the cutters.
Also sugar mills have complained against cane cutters for cheating mills for not paying back the advances taken. A Solapur factory has filed an FIR against cutters and their contractor for cheating.