Police have arrested Rakesh Agrawal, the proprietor of Annapurna Sugar Mill and Indira Sugar Mill, for not paying the dues to sugarcane farmers.

The police here had held Agrawal from his residence in Tripureshwor last evening, on the basis of a letter from Sarlahi District Police Office. According to Nepal Police Spokesperson Basanta Bahadur Kunwar, industrialist Agrawal was sent to Sarlahi this morning for action as a complaint had been lodged against him at Sarlahi District Police Office charging him of fraud. He said sugarcane farmers of Sarlahi claimed dues to the tune of Rs 170 million, in the petition they had lodged against Agrawal.

It is said that the two sugar mills are yet to pay over Rs 80 million in dues to farmers.

As per data with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the two sugar mills have yet to clear dues to the tune of Rs 217 million to farmers, including the dues of Rs 170 million owed by Annapurna Sugar Mill based in Sarlahi and Rs 47 million owed by Indira Sugar Mill based in Nawalparasi.

Indira Sugar Mill had transferred Rs 8.3 million to the bank accounts of farmers till Tuesday. It has Rs 15 million in its bank account while it owes Rs 47 million.

Likewise, Annapurna Sugar Mill has paid Rs 126,372000 to farmers. It is yet to pay Rs 170 million.

It may be recalled here that the ministry had on 15 December 2020 directed the chief district officers of the districts where these sugar mills are located to take legal action against the mill proprietors for not paying their dues to farmers.

Sugarcane farmers had waged a protest movement in Kathmandu demanding payment of dues.