Farmers from a village in Marathwada region have filed a police complaint against the India Meteorological Department, accusing it of colluding with seed and pesticide manufacturers and inflating the monsoon forecast figures.
The complaint, filed at the Parbhani rural police station on Tuesday, said department officials in Pune and Mumbai "colluded" with the manufacturers and caused loss of lakhs of rupees to farmers, who undertook sowing operations based on the forecast.
The complaint was filed by Manik Kadam, Marathwada region president of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, led by Lok Sabha member Raju Shetti. Mr Kadam said cases of cheating under section 420 of IPC should be filed against the IMD director.
In June last year, a farmer from Beed district had also filed a similar police case against IMD officials.
IMD officials misled farmers saying that there would be ample rain during the kharif season, they had said.
"Farmers undertook sowing operations, based on the IMD forecast. But after a brief initial spell, there was no rain and farmers faced a bleak future, with the sowing operations having gone waste," the complainant G Thaware had said.
"IMD officials and those in concerned seed and fertiliser companies, who colluded with each other and gave an inflated monsoon forecast are responsible for the plight of farmers and should be taken to task," the farmer had said.
No IMD official was available for comment.
In September last year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had written a letter to Union minister for environment, complaining against the IMD over the "false" prediction of rainfall.
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