Farmer killed in stampede during fertiliser sale

July 30th, 2008 - 4:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, July 30 (IANS) One farmer was killed Wednesday in a stampede during sale of fertilisers by the government in Andhra Pradesh’s Warangal district. The incident took place at Station Ghanpur in Warangal district, about 200 km from here, when authorities were distributing fertilisers among farmers.

The police said the stampede occurred when a large number of farmers were jostling to collect fertilisers being sold by the authorities.

Uppalaiah, who was standing in the queue outside the fertiliser distribution centre, fell down and died in the stampede. His death led to tension in the area as farmers began a protest demanding Rs.300,000 as compensation to his kin.

The district officials have announced Rs.100,000 as compensation and assured farmers that they would be supplied with as much fertiliser as they need.

The farmers in the state have been protesting against shortage of fertilisers and seeds for the last few days. The farmers’ associations and opposition parties alleged that the state government failed to supply adequate quantity of fertilisers and seeds though the sowing operations began last month.

The demand for fertilisers and seeds shot up this week as the sowing operations picked up following first widespread rains across the state.

Due to the inadequate rains so far, the sowing was carried out on only 2.34 million hectares against the normal of 3.65 million hectares.

Meanwhile, a delegation of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by Warangal MP E. Dayakar Rao met Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to demand immediate steps to overcome the shortage of fertilisers.

Farmers continued their agitation in several districts. They blocked roads Wednesday and went on hunger strike in Medak, Kurnool, Khammam, Adilabad and other districts.

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