Pune, Nov 6 (IANS) At least four dozen alleged Shiv Sena activists barged into and vandalized the offices of Iffco Tokio General Insurance Co. near Bund Gardens here on Wednesday, officials said.
Carrying saffron flags and shouting slogans, the activists demanded immediate settlement of insurance claims filed by thousands of farmers who have suffered massive crop damage following unseasonal rains and floods in different parts of Maharashtra.
The agitation was apparently triggered after Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday issued a veiled warning to the insurance companies who have delayed the farmers’ compensation payments, saying “we know their addresses”.
Today’s action saw the glass entrance doors smashed, several computers, laptops, office furniture and fittings, and windows badly damaged or destroyed.
Eyewitnesses and staffers said that the activists barged into the offices of the Gurugram-headquartered company’s branch, waving party flags and resorting to loud sloganeering, demanding compensation for the affected farmers.
Later, they asked the staffers to vacate their workplaces before starting the mayhem. Videos and photos of the agitation went viral on social media networks this afternoon.
A police officer said that many of the activists who resorted to ransacking the insurance company offices were rounded up and would be placed under arrest soon.
Sena’s Pune chief Sanjay More, who was among the agitators, said farmers have suffered huge losses due to the recent unseasonal rains but their insurance claims have not been cleared by the company despite repeated reminders.
“The insurance companies are displaying an inhuman attitude towards the cause of the poor farmers and we shall intensify our agitation till they improve their functioning,” More said.
In Mumbai, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, while appealing to activists not to resort to such violence, urged the insurance companies to expedite their processes for clearing farmers’ insurance claims without delays.