Farmers sent out of Uzhavar Sandhai for ‘speaking out’

By Times Of India on 14 May 2018
COIMBATORE: A section of farmers, who used to sell their produce at the Uzhavar Sandhai on Cowley Brown Road at RS Puram, on Sunday alleged that officials at the market were targetting them for bringing out the sad state of facilities at the sandhai.

N Sakthivel, a member of the Tamil Nadu Farmer’s Association, who used to sell his produce at the sandhai said, “As I had brought out the poor facilities at the Uzhavar Sandhai through petitions, the officials are targeting me.” He said the officials are allocating stalls at prominent places for those who aren’t questioning them. “They also fix better prices for the produce of those who were docile. But to those who dissent, they give stalls at a corner and fix lower prices,” Sakthivel explained.

Members of the farmer’s association said around 10 of their members had been targeted and had been sent out of the sandhai as they questioned the authorities.

When contacted, an official of the district administration said they had received the petitions from the farmers and would forward them to the higher-ups in the agriculture marketing department. “As the officials from the department know the functioning of the sandhai, it would be better if they conducted an inquiry,” the official said.