Thousands of protesting India farmers converge on Mumbai

12 March, 2018, 09:24 | Author: Diane Mills
  • The massive Long March of the Maharashtra unit of the All India Kisan Sabha. Express

The farmers are protesting for their rights and agrarian crisis. If they try any tricks on us, we will start a hunger strike here at Azad Maidan.

The ABKS was part of the steering committee of farmers' outfits that started unprecedented strikes a year ago. Live: Maharashtra farmers' protestKumar said, "No road closure or diversions will happen due to Farmers' Morcha now". Leaders of the Shiv Sena, part of the state's ruling coalition, arrived in Thane to meet the farmers and farm activists, in a sea of red flags.

The farmers have been walking 15-20 km per day after which they halt for the night and resume their journey at dawn.

Farmers march under the banner of by All India Kisan Sabha, in Mumbai on March 11, 2018.

The farmers made a decision to march overnight to reach Mumbai's Azad Maidan early today to avoid any inconvenience to the children sitting for their exam today. In June a year ago, the Devendra Fadnavis government had declared a Rs34,022 crore loan waiver and capped it at Rs1.5 lakh per farmer's family.

"Thousands of protesters from Kunbi Sena and Shetkari Kamgar Party will join us on Monday", Gujar said. So far, banks have been permitted to grant loan waiver to 46.34 lakh farm loan accounts, amounting to ₹23,102 crore. "Carry out a lathi charge or shoot us, nothing can stop us", Kisan Gujar, president of the state council of All India Kisan Sabha.

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These farmers will seek answer from the government for non- implementation of the demands that were promised by the government, said Ajit Nawale, state general secretary of AIKS.

"Even when the pink bollworm destroyed my cotton crop, government officials came and conducted a panchnama, but ultimately the revenue circle that my village belongs to was excluded from the villages where farmers were given compensation".

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said that he will discuss the grievances of the farmers with a group of ministers and the representatives of the farmers.

Aware of farmers' anger, the government in its budget presented on 9 March took a clear farm sector focus.

"The state government declared a loan waiver package, but 1,753 farmers have committed suicide since then because of its poor implementation".

"I haven't had any discussions with any of the leaders of the protest march. But they should withdraw the protest", said Mr Mahajan.

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