Odishatv Bureau

Balasore: With public wrath growing over lapses in paddy procurement, farmers of Bahanaga block in Balasore district today locked up the gates of Alada Service Cooperative Society and tied up its president to a tree.

According to the farmers, the cooperative society was supposed to procure around 18,000 quintals of paddy but only 4,000 quintals have been purchased from the farmers till date. Agitated over this, the farmers staged a protest today and locked up the cooperative society. The farmers have threatened to keep the society locked till the stipulated amount of the paddy is not procured, sources added.

“We have been staging hunger strikes as paddy is not being procured. Today we locked the gates of the cooperative society and will not withdraw until our demands are not fulfilled,” a protesting farmer said.

On the other hand, Alada Seva Cooperative Society president, Laxmidhar Jena said “Paddy could not be procured for which the farmers had to return. We currently have no procurement targets. The agitated farmers today tied me up to a tree.”

“I have informed the Collector and the bank officials about the issue. The officials said that the millers have not deposited money with the government for which the procurement has been halted, Jena added.

No comments on the matter were available from the department officials.