2 farmers killed in Maha violence, 3 policemen injured

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Pune, Nov 13: Two farmers were killed while three policemen were injured after an agitation by sugarcane farmers to secure higher prices for their crops turned violent in western Maharashtra on Monday. One of the dead farmers were killed in police firing. A number of vehicles were either damaged or burnt during the violence.

A small farmer from Vasagade village in Singli, Chandrakant Nalawade, was killed when the police started firing to control the agitators after the latter reportedly turned violent and set a police motorcycle ablaze. The other victim, Kundalik Kokate, died of head injuries after he fell while trying to deflate the tyre of a sand-laden truck, which was stopped by the protesters, police said.

As the news of the two farmers death and the detention of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) leader Raju Shetty spread like wild fire, the entire western Maharashtra was engulfed by violence. The protestors halted traffic and targetted vehicles, including public and private transport ones, and torched them.

Traffic was paralysed on Pune-Bangalore highway and also in other parts, including Pune, Sangli, Satara, Solapur and Kolhapur. The police resorted to lathi-charge and held thousands of protesting farmers. Several passengers were left stranded in Pune as the state transport authorities suspended bus service to the violence-affected parts.

Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation sources said that 40 state transport buses were damaged by the agitators on the Pune-Solapur and Pune-Kolhapur routes. Some private buses were also set on fire. Bus services on Mumbai, Nashik and Aurangabad routes, however, remained unaffected.

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