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Heavy security deployed, over 15,000 UP farmers' protesting march reaches Kisan Ghat in Delhi


New Delhi, Sep 21: More than 15,000 farmers from various parts of Uttar Pradesh started their march on Saturday morning from Sector 69, Noida, towards Kisan Ghat in New Delhi, over their demands of payment of sugarcane crop dues, full loan waiver and making electricity free for farming amongst others. They are protesting under the banner of Bharat Kisan Union (BKU).

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Heavy security has been deployed along the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in the wake of the protest march, launched by the farmers on September 17.

"No politician is paying heed to us. Our protest will continue till our demands are fulfilled by the government," said one of the farmers.

Heavy security, including paramilitary forces, has been deployed on the route of the march. Farmers are expected to enter Delhi from Ghazipur border via NH 24.

Puran Singh, National President, Indian Farmers Organization, said: "After our negotiations with Agriculture Ministry officials failed, we are left with only this option of marching to Delhi to draw attention towards our demands."

Farmers have decided to hold a hunger strike if their demands are not met even after their march to Delhi.

Joint CP, East Range-Delhi at Delhi-UP border near Ghazipur, says, "We are coordinating with UP police. Approximately 500 farmers are on their way here."

The UP government has set October 31 as the deadline for sugar mills to clear dues of cane growers, state minister Suresh Rana said, warning strict action against defaulters.

Rana, the minister of sugarcane development and sugarcane mills, while addressing a meeting in Shamli on Friday said dues of the growers should be settled by October end, before the crushing season begins, failing which recovery certificates will be issued and farmers will be paid by selling sugar from the godowns.

On Wednesday, the Allahabad High Court directed the state government to clear dues of sugarcane growers on a plea by two farmers who said that they had grown the crop after taking loans from banks but they were not in a position to repay due to the non-payment of their dues.

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Rana said two sugar mills, Tikola and Mansurpur, of total 17 in the Saharanpur district has cleared their dues, while three others -- Sarsawa, Deoband and Nanota -- has paid back 90 per cent. He said the state government was taking all necessary measures to ensure full payment to the farmers.

Muzaffarnagar's Cane Officer R D Divedi said that two mills in the district have made full payment to the farmers, while six others are yet to settle dues amounting to Rs 318.13 crore.

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