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Farmers' march reaches Thane, to gherao Assembly on Monday

12 March, 2018, 09:22 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • The massive Long March of the Maharashtra unit of the All India Kisan Sabha. Express

The farmers marched overnight in wake of board examinations on Monday monring and to avoid traffic situation in the city.

The Kisan Long March to Maharashtra Assembly was put on hold after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis invited a delegation of protesters to discuss the demands raised by the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS). On Sunday, at least 50,000 farmers, who started their 180-km journey on foot from Nashik district last week (March 6), reached Mumbai.

Nearly 70 percent of the 300 million Indians are directly or undirectly dependened of agriculture. "Some farmers in Dindori taluk have faced bank action and confiscation of tractors", he said. "They have given us a time of 12 noon, and we will be at Vidhan Sabha at 12. We feel that pressure from them may make the government agree to our demands", says Sitaram Pawar, secretary, Kisan Mahasabha. However, Ajit Navale, leader of the Communist Party and convenor of the Kisan Sabha, which is spearheading the protest, refused to be drawn into any discussions at this stage and chose to go ahead with the March. Moreover, one round of farmers' protests had already taken place in June a year ago, culminating in the announcement of a loan waiver, and with recent figures indicating an 8.3 per cent drop in the agriculture sector, the fresh protests are likely to put the BJP in a further bind.

The farmers troubled by fake promises by Maharashtra government are expected to stage "gherao" protest outside Maharashtra assembly in Mumbai on Monday.

"Thousands of protesters from Kunbi Sena and Shetkari Kamgar Party will join us on Monday", Gujar said.

The agitating farmers are also demanding compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for destruction of crops due to hailstorm and pink-worm, allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers and implementation of Forest Rights Act.

"I haven't had any discussions with any of the leaders of the protest march".

Wearing red "topis", carrying red flags, beating drums, cymbals and playing tarpa, the traditional blowing instrument of the tribals, the farmers made their colourful presence felt as they walked briskly along the Eastern Express highway, from where the authorities had diverted the south-bound vehicular traffic all through the day. MNS chief Raj Thackeray also met the protestors and voiced solidarity with the farmers.



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