Three Andhra Pradesh farmers injured in police firing

June 17th, 2008 - 8:00 am ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 16 (IANS) Three farmers were injured when police opened fire to disperse a violent mob in Andhra Pradesh’s Nizamabad district Monday. The incident occurred at Armor town in Nizamabad district, about 150 km from here, when a protest by farmers turned violent.

The injured farmers were admitted to a government hospital in Nizamabad.

Trouble began when farmers who were staging a sit-in on a national highway to press for various demands attacked houses of two seed dealers, police said.

Demanding payment of arrears for the purchase of red jowar (sorghum) seeds by the dealers, the protesters barged into the houses and ransacked them. They also set afire a few vehicles.

Police swung into action and started caning the farmers to disperse them. The enraged farmers hit back by throwing stones, injuring a police official.

Using sticks and stones, they chased police personnel who then opened fire.

Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy took serious note of the incident. During a meeting with officials in the state capital, he sought details of the incident and expressed his displeasure over the events leading to the police firing.

He announced that the government-owned Andhra Pradesh Seeds Development Corporation would buy the rest of red jowar seeds from the farmers at the rate of Rs.12 per kg. He directed officials to ensure that farmers do not suffer any losses.

Opposition parties condemned the police firing. Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao rushed to Armoor to call on the injured farmers. He alleged that the government was insensitive to the problems of farmers.

Farmers in different parts of the state have been holding protests to demand adequate supply of fertilizers and seeds for the new crop season.

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