Thousands of farmers from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on Friday started a 10-day nationwide strike demanding waiver of loans, right price for their crops and implementation of recommendations of Swaminathan Commission.
The protests were called to mark the first anniversary of the Mandsaur demonstration in Madhya Pradesh, in which six farmers were killed in police firing. The farmers have shut down the supply of milk, vegetables and essential farm produce due to which the vegetable prices in the market have gone up.
Speaking about the same, Shiv Kumar Sharma, president of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, which is 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.
In Punjab, farmers in Faridkot stopped the supply of vegetable, fruits, and milk, while in Ludhiana’s Samrala they spilled milk on the road. Similar were the situations in other states too.
However, the protests didn’t alter the vegetable supply in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur.
“The situation is normal here. There is no shortage in supply of important things like milk and vegetables. We have deployed adequate police force so that if anything happens we can take care of it,” said Mandsaur Collector, OP Shrivastava.
Earlier on May 29, the farmers of the Bharatiya Kisan Union held a tractor rally in Samrala, Punjab, against the fuel price hike.