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Sugarcane Farmers Seek Payment of Dues Amounting to Rs 60 crore

Amarjeet Singh Mohri, state president of BKU (SBS), stated that the agitation will continue till the delayed payment is cleared.

Shivani Meena
Sugarcane Farmers to begin strike due to payment delays
Sugarcane Farmers to begin strike due to payment delays

On Monday, sugarcane farmers began an indefinite protest outside the Naraingarh sub-divisional magistrate's office, seeking payment of dues amounting to Rs 60 crore for the current crushing season. The protest is being headed by a 21-member committee, most of whom are farmers connected with the recently formed Bhartiya Kisan Union (Shaheed Bhagat Singh).

Other agricultural groups, such as BKU (Charuni), BKU (Tikait), BKU (Bhaichara), and Ganna Sangharsh Samiti, have opted not to join the movement. According to a farmer, no government representative met with the demonstrators on the first day. 

Amarjeet Singh Mohri, state president of BKU (SBS), stated that the agitation will continue till the delayed payment is cleared. 

Yadvendra, a farmer from Laha who is not a representative of any organization, said, "I am owed almost ten lakh rupees by the mill." The mill has been crushing for nearly three months, but we have yet to get money for this year. Recent rains have destroyed my wheat, potato, and sugarcane crops, but the government has yet to provide help." A nearby gurudwara would provide protestors with langar daily. 

Due to the mill's poor financial status, SDM Niraj, who is also in charge of the mill, had stated that the payment may only be given next year after fresh crushing. 

Mohri and his associates severed ways with Gurnam Singh Charuni early this month, owing principally to his decision to run in the Punjab elections. Previously, Gulab Singh of Ambala, Charuni's oldest supporter, went over to Tikait's group as state vice-president. 

A prominent farmer leader from Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), who just left Charuni's union, feels that this agitation might serve as a launchpad for BKU (SBS) and assist them to expand their footprint. 

"They have firebrand leaders like Jai Singh Jalbera, his son Navdeep, Sukhwinder Jalbera, and Tejveer Singh Farm activists from Chandigarh, who also is angry with Charuni, are also helping them," he added. 

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