Mathura, April 6: Hundreds of farmers have been protesting here in Uttar Pradesh against ture’s fury that has destroyed their crops, causing them fincial ruin. After a devastating hailstorm on Friday, farmers in the Vrindavan, Goverdhan, Barsa, Raya, Chata and Kosi areas have been on the war path. On Saturday, they brought traffic between New Delhi and Agra to a virtual halt. On Sunday, hundreds were out on the streets demanding compensation and relief from the authorities.
Hundreds of farmers in Mathura district blocked traffic for hours on the Yamu Expressway on Saturday to protest against what they said was the indifference of the district administration towards their plight. A similar protest took place on the highway to Delhi. Leaders of the Bharatiya Jata Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Congress organised protest marches on Sunday.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union submitted memorandums to district officials on Saturday demanding early survey of the damage to the crops and payment of compensation to farmers.
The leaders highlighted how more than a dozen farmers had either died of shock or committed suicide as a result of extensive damage to their crops. Farmers of the Vrindavan, Chata and Kosi areas said the hailstorm on Friday damaged whatever was left from earlier rounds of untimely rain and hail. “We were trying to retrieve and bundle damaged crop of mustard and wheat. Suddenly came the hailstorm. As we ran for shelter, several people were hit by the hail,” said farmer Hari singh at Chaumuhan. “We have not seen such big lumps of hail in our life. So many birds, including peacocks, were found dead as they were hit by the ice balls that came like cartridges from a machine gun,” he added. (ians)