PCC Cheif Uttam condemns hand-cuffing of chilli farmers

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· TPCC Chief asks KCR to tender public apology
· Slams KCR for treating farmers as terrorists/extremists
· Asks CM to stop intimidating farming community

Hyderabad, May 11: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has strongly condemned the TRS Government for hand-cuffing of chilli farmers while they produced before a court in Khammam on Thursday.

Speaking to media persons at his residence in Banjara Hills here, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the TRS Government had committed a grave mistake by hand cuffing the farmers who are accused in the case pertaining to protest at Khammam Market Yard. He said poor farmers had staged a protest demanding remunerative price for their crop. Instead of accepting their demand, TRS Government registered criminal cases against those farmers and put them behind bars. “It is highly shocking that the accused farmers were brought to the court hand-cuffed. Are they terrorists or extremists? What is the message that the TRS Government is trying to convey by hand-cuffing the poor farmers? Is it trying to say that anyone who holds protest against TRS Govt will be considered a hardcore criminal?” he asked.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the chilli farmers were justified in holding a protest seeking supportive price for their produce. Instead of intervening on the issue to bail out distressed farmers, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao crushed their agitation using intimidating tactics. “KCR wrongly implicated poor chilli farmers in a fake case. The innocent farmers were immediately arrested and sent to jail. Today the Chief Minister crossed all limits by ordering the police to produce the arrested farmers before the court hand-cuffed. This is the height of arrogance of power,” he said.

The TPCC Chief demanded that KCR tender an unconditional public apology for the mistake of hand-cuffing the farmers. He also demanded stern action, including suspension of all police officials responsible for hand-cuffing of farmers. He said all cases registered against the farmers should be withdrawn immediately. “Congress party will intensify its agitation if these demands are not met immediately. The echo of farmers’ protest held at Khammam Market Yard will now be heard everywhere across Telangana State. Poor chilli farmers have been subjected to lot of humiliation. First they were denied a supportive price, implicated in a false case, arrested, jailed and now hand-cuffed. We will not let their sacrifices go waste,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy reiterated the demand that the State Government immediately procure the chilli by paying Rs. 12,000 per quintal. He warned the TRS Government of serious implications if it continues to neglect the farmers of Telangana State. “KCR remained a mute spectator to suicide by more than 3,000 farmers. TRS Government did nothing when farmers lost four consecutive crops and when a favourable monsoon increased their production in Rabi season, they were denied remunerative prices. Congress party will not tolerate this injustice with farmers and will launch mass agitation,” he announced.

The TPCC Chief said that KCR should stop misleading the people with his tall-talk and fake promises. Describing KCR’s promise of payment of Rs. 4,000 per acre fertilizer subsidy as an election gimmick, he said that the Chief Minister should provide the input subsidy from this Khariff season itself instead of implementing it from the next year. Stating that the agriculture sector was in complete doldrums under TRS rule, he said that the Congress party would revive the entire sector after it returns to power in 2019 elections.

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