Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: Irked over irregularities in paddy procurement and faulty token system of the State government, hundreds of farmers from across Odisha staged protests by blocking roads in different parts of the State on Wednesday.

The irate farmers of Harichandanpur under Keonjhar district staged a dharna and blocked the by-pass road by pilling up sacks of unsold paddy. Vehicular movement along the Naranpur-Duburi road was paralysed for a long time due to the protest.

"We have become victims of sheer apathy of the State government and an incompetent district administration," alleged a protestor.

"We will continue with our protests till the procurement process is streamlined and our produce are procured," he said.

Similarly, hundreds of farmers of Patrapur in Balasore district stacked their paddy produce on road, demanding the procurement of the crop.

"Many farmers are yet to sell their produce due to delay and glitches in token generation. If our problems are not solved, we will intensify our protest,” he said.

On the other hand, NIlagiri Sub-Collector Harish Chandra Jena said that the farmers staged the road blockade without giving any prior intimation to the district administration.

"I will ask the local police to clear the road and then look into the matter," said Jena.

Another farmers' organisation under the banner of All India Kishan Khet Majdoor Sangathan of Kishore Nagar in Angul district also hit the streets demanding the withdrawal of the faulty token system for procurement of their crops.

They staged a protest before Kishore Nagar block office and submitted a memorandum to Angul Collector.