11 June 2014Amul Dairy witnessed violence for the first time on its premises in Anand on Tuesday afternoon after group of farmers, who had come to make a representation demanding higher remuneration for milk, reportedly went berserk. Anand police resorted to lathicharge which left at least five farmers injured.
Police arrested 14 agitators and booked them for rioting and damaging property. Last week, a group of farmers under the umbrella of Gujarat Progressive Farmers Association (GPFA) from Anand and Kheda had submitted a memorandum to the dairy officials, threatening to spill milk on the campus on Tuesday to protest against low procurement prices being paid to them by the dairy union. GPFA later called off the protest programme after an assurance by dairy’s chairman Ramsinh Parmar but another group under the umbrella of KhedaAnand Jilla Sabhasad Jagruti Manch (KAJSJM) had declared that it will continue with its protest programme.
Since Tuesday morning, police bandobast was kept outside the dairy to stop any untoward incident. However, farmers tried to gatecrash and had a spat with private security per sonnel . Sources said that a couple of security guards beat some farmers with lathis after which things turned ugly . The crowd jumped over the main gate and broke glass doors, damaged computers and LCDs in the administrative block that houses chairman’s office.
“There was a mild lathicharge to control the crowd .
Based on a complaint registered by Amul Dairy , we have registered a case of rioting and arrested 14 ,“ Anand district superintendent of police R V Asari told TOI.
The agitating farmers, however, said that five farmers were injured in lathicharge.
“All we were asking was to hear our representation but that did not happen,“ said Kirit Patel, a dairy farmer from Kapadwanj.
Regarding the demands, the agitators said the dairy union has declared that it will pay 7 per cent as annual profit to its milk producers. “This is much lower compared to 13 per cent profit share that Sabar Dairy has declared. We had demanded that we should get at least 14 per cent of the annual profit share from Amul,“ said Patel, adding that they had questioned the management that if buttermilk is being sold at Rs 24 per litre to consumers and farmers are paid only Rs 23 per litre for their milk, where is the profit going ? Protests politically motivated: Parmar
Vadodara/ Anand: Reacting to the violence on its premises, Amul Dairy’s management has said that Tuesday’s protest by farmers was politically motivated. “We have six lakh milk producers registered with our union in 21 talukas of Anand and Kheda districts. How can procurement price be an issue with farmers of only two talukas Kapadwanj and Virpur and not others? It is a politically motivated protest,“ Amul Dairy’s vice-chairman Rajendrasinh Parmar told TOI.
He added that when a group of farmers first came to make a representation before the dairy’s management, they were told that the chairman and the board members are ready for any kind of talks.
“Also, we are holding our annual general body meeting on June 14 which provides the right platform to raise all issues and concerns of milk producers. There was no need for any violence and cause damage to the property of an institution, which is completely owned by farmers,“ he said. Amul Dairy is the only dairy union of Gujarat whose board is managed by Congress leaders. TNN