Jagatsinghpur, May 14 (LocalWire): Irate farmers today locked the office of PACs, cooperative mini bank and panchayat office and kept hostage two executive officers of Purnabasant panchayat under Raghunathpur block and secretary of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies.
They were protesting the irregularities in selecting beneficiaries for the Kalia (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme and illegal deletion of farmers’ names from enrolment lists.
Demonstrators alleged racketeers deleted the names of genuine farmers by adding names of influential people, ruling party workers, government servants and pension holders in the Kalia scheme.
Farmers of Purnabasant panchayat had sought the intervention of PACS secretary, Ganeswer Sahoo. They asked him about the number of beneficiaries liable for financial assistance last April when PACS had conducted a loan mela but Sahoo refused to disclose the names of the beneficiaries.
After a month, farmers came to know that total 213 farmers were selected to get assistance under this scheme while 139 farmers received Rs 5000 in their account while 74 genuine farmers were excluded from this list and therefore deprived of any financial assistance.
Interestingly, farmers who are not eligible received the money and discontentment brewed among the farmers.
Today, hundreds of farmers, led by Chaitanya Charan Das, rallied and squatted on mass protest in front of the panchayat office, PACS office and cooperative mini bank to protest the deletion of names of genuine farmers. They detained Sahoo and executive officer of this panchayat Mohan Jena for their involvement in deleting names of genuine farmers.
Surendra Sahoo, a farmer, said, ‘We have vowed to intensify our stir for an indefinite period for illegally deleting names of 74 genuine farmers from the Kalia scheme.’
Sarpanch of Purnabasant, Chandana Mohanty, rushed to the spot and pacified the irate farmers to resolve their issues. Police have been deployed to avert any untoward incidence in the locality.
Out of 2.09 lakh applications, 40,147 farmers including small and marginal farmers and 8670 farmers including landless farmers have received Rs 5000 each in Kalia scheme in this district.