In the latest news, Farmers in seven states began their 10-day strike starting from June 1. It is learnt that over thousands of farmers from Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala have announced a nation-wide strike.
The farmers from 172 organisations under the slogan of Rashtriya Kisan Maha Sangh, are protesting to demand loan waivers, right price for their crops they cultivate and implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee recommendations.
The farmers took their strike to another level as they recently stopped the daily supplies such as milk, fruits, vegetables and essential farm produce owing to which the vegetable prices inflated in the market. Farmer groups call protest to mark the first anniversary of the Mandsaur demonstration in MP, in which six farmers were shot to death in police firing.
Shiv Kumar Sharma, the president of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, leading the protests, said, “More than 130 farmers organisations are with us. This has now become a nationwide agitation. We have named the protest ‘Gaon Band’. We won’t go to cities, as we don’t want to heckle the normal lives of the people.”
“We have decided to observe a Bharat Bandh on June 10 till 2 pm. I would like to request all the businessmen of cities to close their shops till 2 pm and pay tribute to farmers who have lost their lives in previous years,” Sharma added.
Things got heated up in Faridkot in Punjab where farmers have completely shut down the daily supply of vegetable, fruits, and milk, while in Ludhiana’s Samrala they spilt milk on the road. It was the same case in Rajasthan and Maharastra too.
As far as Milk farmers are concerned, they have joined the ‘kisaan andolan’ because they get Rs 20-Rs 30 a litre and have been appealing to the government time and time again that the minimum rate of milk should be at least Rs 40.
The agitation has the support of over 150 farmers organisation. Besides, all 50 Panchayats of the state have also announced to fight for the rights of farmers,” Chief of Aam Kisan Union, Kedar Sirohi told IANS.
“The government responds to the rightful demands of the farmers with lathis and bullets. June 6 is a black day for farmers. Nothing will be supplied by villages to cities for the next 10 days, neither will anything be brought from the cities during the period,” Sirohi said.
The farmers’ organisations who called protests are now demanding that the government should announce a fixed price for farm produce including daily supplies such as vegetables and milk.