Farmers ransack godown in Manipur

Correspondent IMPHAL, Aug 25 | Publish Date: 8/25/2018 12:08:14 PM IST

Farmers in Manipur Saturday broke a godown of state agriculture department in Imphal and ransacked the fertilizers in it. Farmers of the state have been facing non-availability of fertilizers, particularly Urea.

Farmers from both hills and valley districts turned up at the fertilizer godown of the agriculture department in Imphal’s Lamphelpat Saturday to collect the fertilizer.

However, when none of the officials turned up at the godown to deliver the fertilizers, the angry farmers broke the padlock of the godown and ransacked the fertilizers after dragging it outside. Few farmers tried to take away the fertilizers while others were destroying it until a police team arrived and stopped them from further damaging the fertilizers.

According to farmers, the department failed to deliver the fertilizers even after they deposited money for the same more than two weeks ago. 

Whenever, they came to the agriculture office in Imphal, the officials sought excuse by saying one or other reasons, alleged the farmers. Failure to deliver the same, a large number of farmers had stormed the agriculture office in Imphal on August 21 last and protested there. However, they dispersed after the officials of the department assured to deliver the same on August 25. Accordingly, the farmers from across the state turned up at the godown but none of the officials turned up. Later, a staff of the department asked them to leave the place as there was no fertilizer stock in the godown.

Irate over the attitude of the department, the farmers broke the padlock of the godown where fertilizers were found in the store. The staff convinced the farmers that the fertilizers in the stock were reserved for ministers and MLAs which made the farmer angered.

A farmer from Senapati district said that he has been staying in a hotel in Imphal since August 21 last with the hope of returning home with five bags of Urea which he had already booked and deposited money.

Another farmer from Kumbi of Bishnupur district said that he came all the way to Imphal after hiring a vehicle to take the fertilizers. 

On the other hand, some farmers alleged that even though they were deprived of availing the fertilizers, the same was being sold at the residences of ministers, MLAs and their workers at the rate higher than the actual subsidized rate fixed by government. They further alleged that Urea, the most demanded fertilizers which is controlled by the government was also available at open market but at much higher rate. They alleged a 50 kg bag of Urea was being sold in the open market at the rate ranging from Rs 900 to 1000 against the government fixed rate of Rs 286.60 per bag.

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