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Farmers protest seek loan waiver in Karnataka

BENGALURU: Around 5,000 farmers from across Karnataka staged protests here on Monday seeking a loan waiver, higher price for sugarcane and relief aid for losses incurred due to drought in 17 districts across the state.Hundreds of farmers reached the city in buses, trains, trucks and tractors from 20 of the 30 districts including Ramanagara, Mandya, Mysuru, Kodagu, Kolar, Gadag, Tumukuru, Shivamogga, Hassan, Haveri, Hubballi, Belagavi and Bagalkot as their demands have remained pending months after the Janata Dal-Secular-Congress coalition came into power.“Farmers from all over the state have come to force the state government meet our demands on loan waiver, higher price for sugarcane and compensation for kharif crop loss due to drought this year,” Karnataka State Farmers Association President Chamaraj Patil told reporters here.“Though Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy announced farm loan waiver in June, the banks have not written off a rupee even after five months. Except for making announcements and giving assurances, nothing has happened.“We are also unable to take fresh credit as old loans have not been waived off yet,” Patil added.Police blocked hundreds of agitators from marching towards the state Secretariat from Freedom Park near the main railway station and the city-cum-district bus stand as prohibitory orders were issued in the VIP area.“We have urged the police to allow at least our representatives to meet Kumaraswamy for submitting a memorandum and discussing our problems,” said Patil.Indo-Asian News Service