Udaipur : Infuriated over the bad quality of food served to them at the Kisan Mela held at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Chittorgarh, on friday, farmers staged a massive protest against the agriculture department and the contractor who was responisble for the catering. A senior agriculture officer who came to pacify the peasants had to face their wrath as the angry people gheraod him and forcibly stuffed the bad food into his mouth to make him realize the deteriorated quality.
The Kisan mela was organized under ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agencies) scheme of the department and some 1500 farmers had been brought to the KVK to inform them of the latest agricultural technologies and updations in the farming process. There had been an exhibition of vegetables, fruits and horticultural products. During lunch, the participants were distributed food packets containing potato curry and chappatis. Few of the farmers vomitted and complained sickness after eating the vegetable while many threw away the food packet shouting over the rotten potatoes that had been used to prepare the curry. Farmers raised slogans and demanded a police case to be registered against the catering contractor. Bhupendra SIngh Rathore, Dy Director (ATMA) tried to pacify the protestors but the farmers were so furious that they caught hold of the officer and stuffed the smelly food inside his mouth.
They also smeared his face with the curry. Seeing his plight, staff of the agriculture department and the caterer skipped out from the area. Later on Rathore ordered for fresh food packets, however, most of the farmers left from the place. According to sources, the department had ordered food for 1800 persons at the price of 72 rupees per packet. Seeing the protest, offcials even said the contrator would not be paid for the supply and even would be blacklisted. Meanwhile, the farmers said that when they complained about the food quality, instead of rebuking the contractor, the officials asked the peasants to eat whatever was being served.