Ambala, Mar 23 (UNI) Dharna demonstration of the sugarcane growers under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union being undertaken in front of the sugar mill Banondi Shehzadpur entered the fifth day on Friday. The agitating farmers are demanding payment of dues running into crores of rupees from the mill management over a year.
The sugarcane growers who had sold their produce were not paid the dues. These farmers include mostly small land owners who depend on the farming of sugarcane. These farmers complained that they were running their household expenses with loans taken from the money lenders and many of them are under debt. Their repeated requests for payment from the management fell on deaf ears and they continue to wait for the payment of the produce sold to the mill.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union is leading the agitation with the main demand of clearance of the outstanding worth crores of rupees from the management. The management alleged BKU leaders that the producers were given only false assurances of clearing the dues. The management is bound to make payment under the agreement between the producers and the management but the management has not observed the terms and condition laid down in the agreement which stated that the producers would be paid the price of their produce after they bring it to the mill and sell it to the management. The poor producers who bring their produce by hiring vehicles are doubly penalized by way of payment for hiring vehicles and non-payment of the produce. The prevailing situation has led to agitation by the producers and under the leadership of the BKU have started dharna and demonstration against the mill management.
BKU Convener Jaswinder Singh Bakhtua leading the agitation said that the situation might take serious turn if the management didn’t take action in settling the issue. He said that their agitation would continue till dues of the producers were cleared. He further said that the farmers would now not wait for indefinite time. Bakhtua also criticized the administration for not intervening into the matter and had remained a spectator to the problem. He said that a meeting of the BKU workers and functionaries would be held at the dharna place on March 26 where decision would be taken about the future course of action with regard to the demand of the farmers.
He said that the BKU state president Ratan Mann would be present on the occasion.