Saswat Singhdeo

Jharsuguda: Expressing resentment over Chhattisgarh Police seizing a paddy-laden truck belonging to a farmer in Odisha, farmers in Jharsuguda today took to streets protesting the move. The agitating farmers today blocked Kanaktora-Ektal road.

As per the allegations, on December 7, Jute Mill Police in Chhattisgarh seized a vehicle carrying 38 gunny bags of paddy belonging to one Manoj Meher of Kanaktora village in Odisha. Manoj was reportedly carrying the produce to his home after harvest.

Later, the cops took the vehicle to police station, registered a complaint and allegedly detained Meher for some hours before releasing him.

“Some policemen from Chhattisgarh first asked me about the paddy bags which I was loading on to my vehicle. Then they said that they will launch an inquiry and seized my vehicle,” said Meher.

Later, Meher’s relatives informed the matter to Rengali Police, Jharsuguda Police and the district administration. Allegedly after no action was taken, farmers of Kanaktora resorted to protest.

As per sources, Chhattisgarh government offers higher Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy than the Odisha government. Hence, it is believed that the neighbouring state's police are suspecting Odisha farmers residing in the bordering areas of selling their produce in Chhattisgarh.

Meanwhile, district collector of Jharsuguda, Saroj Samal, has assured that they are in talks with Chhattisgarh administration to resolve the issue.

“Since a case has been registered in Chhattisgarh, we are unable to take any steps. However, they have assured us that they will resolve the issue and ensure that the vehicle is released,” said Samal.

On the other hand, Chhattisgarh Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu, during his Odisha visit, said that he will look into the matter.