Token Trouble: Farmers’ Shut Down hits normal life in Western Odisha

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By Our Correspondent

BARGARH/SAMBALPUR: Major Roads, Railways Stations and public locations wore deserted look with farmers of Western Odisha taking to street in Bargarh and Sambalpur districts on Wednesday and the shut down call by the farming community got huge response in many places spreading from Bargarh to Sambalpur.

Sources said, normal life was hit in Attabira area of Bargarh district after scores of farmers on Wednesday launched a 12-hour shutdown in the region. In Sambalpur, agitators stopped vehicular movements in the city while shops and business establishments also remained closed.

Protesting centralised token system for procurement of paddy in the current Kharif season, the farmers are observing the dawn-to-dusk bandh.

The activists resorted to road blockades at several key points in the block leading to disruption of normal traffic. Business establishments, shops, markets, schools and colleges remained closed in the area in view of the shutdown.

Meanwhile, the district administration has taken up adequate steps to avoid any untoward incidents. Earlier on Tuesday, the Bargarh Collector held discussion with the farmer’s outfit but the discussion remained inconclusive.

Opposition BJP and Congress members had came down heavily on the State Government, saying “failure” of paddy procurement has lead to distress sale and forced farmers to take to the streets in the entire western Odisha.

“The token system of paddy procurement is very faulty. Millers are taking advantage of delay in paddy procurement. Farmers have suffered heavy losses due to non-procurement,” BJP MLA Jayanarayan Mishra alleged.

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