A 58-year-old participant in the long march of thousands of farmers and tribals from Nashik district in north Maharashtra to Mumbai has died, an official said on Saturday.
Pundalik Ambo Jadhav, a resident of a village near Dindori in Nashik, was taken to a hospital in Shahpur on Friday afternoon after he complained of uneasiness. After he felt better, Jadhav returned to the place where the protesters were camping, said the official.
The 200 km march by thousands of farmers and tribals started from Dindori on Sunday last in support of their demands. It reached Thane district’s Vasind town, around 80 km from Mumbai. Their demands include Rs 600 per quintal of relief to onion farmers, a 12-hour uninterrupted power supply to farmers, and a waiver of farm loans.
After having dinner around 8 pm on Friday, Jadhav vomited and again started feeling uneasy. He was rushed to the Shahapur hospital, where doctors declared him dead, said the official.
The station house officer at Vasind police station says that a case of accidental death has been registered and Jadhav’s body has been sent for a postmortem.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde told the state Assembly on Friday that he had held discussions with a farmers’ delegation over 14 points, including forest rights, encroachment on forest land, transfer of land belonging to temple trusts, and grazing grounds to cultivators for farming.
Appealing to the farmers to withdraw their long march, Shinde said the decisions taken would be implemented immediately.
Onion growers, facing losses due to low prices of the commodity and damage to crops by unseasonal rains, will be given Rs 350 per quintal as financial relief, he said.