Monday, March 18News That Matters

Call For “GAON BANDH”: Farmers Block Transport Of Produce Outside Villages In 7 States

The farmers of seven states have organised a protest for the first ten days of June on the first anniversary of farmers’ protest in Mandsaur during which five protesters were killed in police firing. The agitation is to protest the police firing that took place on June 6 last year. Many farmer organisations across India have called for “Gaon bandh” from June 1-10 during which no farm produce would be allowed to be transported outside villages.

The strike is likely to affect the supply of milk, fruits and vegetables in cities and towns. Sandeep Gidde, coordinator of the strike, said, “Starting Friday, we will stop the supply of milk and vegetables to cities. Farmers will station themselves along highways to stop vehicles transporting milk and vegetables.” He expressed confidence that the strike would be successful.

As part of the protest on June 1, farmers will take their cattle to the tehsil offices to draw the BJP-led state government’s attention to their issues.

 “We will take our cattle to every tehsil office in the state and tie them up to the gates of these offices. We hope this way we will get the attention of the government towards farmers issues,” Dr Ajit Navale, general secretary of Maharashtra State Kisan Sabha said.

“The milk producers have been seeking Rs 27 per litre purchase rate, but the state government has so far not paid heed to the demand. The state has also failed to implement complete loan waiver scheme for the farmers. We have, therefore, decided to protest across the state,” he said.

Today’s meeting was also attended by two lawmakers- independent MLA from Amravati Bacchu Kadu and CPM MLA Jiva Pandu Gavit from Nashik district.

Last year, farmers had launched an agitation from June 1 to press for their different demands, including that of loan waiver. The stir had disrupted supply of vegetables and other essentials to cities, including Mumbai for some days.

The protest was called off on June 11 after the state government gave a firm assurance of bringing a comprehensive scheme to help the debt-pressed farmers. The government later unveiled a mega Rs 34,022-crore farm loan waiver scheme.

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