The alleged ‘katni chatni’ at mandis (paddy procurement centers) continues to haunt farmers in several districts of Odisha. Despite repeated attempts to draw the attention of the government, the officials concerned seem to be least bothered about the plight of the farmers.
Expressing outrage, hundreds of farmers of Kantia village under Jatni police limits in Khordha district staged sit-in protest throughout the chilling winter night on Saturday to mark their protest against the ‘katni chatni’ system.
The agitated farmers had to freeze the whole night as they sat in protest in front of the mandi in their village. They accused the millers and society secretary of deducting 4-5 kilos of paddy per quintal. The irate farmers have refused to give their produce to the millers and the society secretary until the ‘katni chatni’ system was revoked.
“We have to work throughout the year for a good harvest. However, when we bring the paddy for sale at the mandis, the millers and society secretary are deducting 4-5 kilos of paddy for every quintal. We will toil all day and night, but they will cash in out of our hard work,” a local farmer stated.
Another farmer said, “We already face a lot of loss due to various reasons. We have to spend money to bring our paddy to the mandis. Despite all this, they are deducting 4-5 kilos of our paddy for every quintal. This is not fair and is clearly a criminal activity. The government should immediately ban such illegal happenings.”
Meanwhile, the ‘Krushak Sanghatan’ and Odisha Youth Students’ Association extended their support to the agitating farmers and demanded that the Odisha government take immediate note of the plight of the farmers.
“What kind of people are they who are trying to cash on the hard work of poor farmers? I request the government to take immediate action in this regard otherwise we will intensify our agitation,” warned MD Munawar Ali, President of Odisha Youth Students’ Association.
Meanwhile, the administrative officials could not be contacted over the allegations.