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Karnataka: Angry farmers burn vehicles, vandalise APMC office in Haveri district over fall in chilli prices

On Monday (11th March), a group of angry farmers vandalised an APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) mandi in Karnataka’s Haveri district while agitating against the sharp reduction in the prices of chilly. The incident took place in the Byadagi area of Haveri district. The farmers threw stones at the APMC building and set it on fire. They also torched several vehicles including a fire department vehicle which arrived there to douse the fire. Following the incident, police started an investigation into the matter.

As per reports, the angry farmers resorted to violence at the APMC yard in Byadgi of Haveri district on Monday evening. They set fire to the APMC office and torched several vehicles, including a fire engine that was deployed to extinguish the fire. The angry farmers went on a rampage protesting against the sudden fall in the prices of chilli varieties reportedly because of the excess quantity of chilli reaching the mandi.

According to local traders, tensions erupted after the e-tender process was completed following which the prices of various chilli lots were announced. As per reports, over 3 lakh quintals of chilli arrived in the Byadgi APMC market resulting in a fall in the prices of the chilli varieties. Angry over the reduction in prices for their produce, the farmers gathered outside the APMC office and started pelting stones.

Subsequently, several protesting farmers set vehicles parked outside the APMC office on fire, vandalised the APMC office, and set it on fire.

Following the ruckus, a fire engine rushed to the spot but the angry protestors diverted the fire brigade and set fire to the fire engine itself.

They also blocked entry to the market and did not allow the fire brigade or the police personnel to enter the premises. In several videos of the incident, the angry farmers could be seen violently chasing away the policemen who reached the spot to control the situation. However, after much effort and time, the police personnel dispersed the crowd and reportedly brought the situation under control.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Basavaraj Neelappa Shivannanavar alleged that the farmers are from Andhra Pradesh. He went on to blame them for the entire incident. 

“Last week, the price of chillies was Rs 20,000-25,000 for 100 kgs. Today, it has fallen to Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 for the same quantity. They came from Andhra to sell their chillies and they have caused this,” the Congress MLA was quoted saying in an India Today report.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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