Bandh hits life in Maharashtra; Madhya Pradesh sees looting

Many support farmers’ shutdown across Maharashtra, though protests turn violent in some places.

Published: 06th June 2017 06:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2017 06:56 AM   |  A+A-

A farmer throws vegetables on the road during an agitation | PTI

Express News Service

Many support farmers’ shutdown across Maharashtra, though protests turn violent in some places. A truck full of milk packets destroyed in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh even as the Congress party backs the protests

MUMBAI/BHOPAL:The call for a shutdown across Maharashtra, except Mumbai, as part of the ongoing farmers’ protests, evoked good response on Monday from various sections of the society, though it disrupted normal life in different parts of the State. In some places, the protests turned violent.

With Puntamba, the epicentre of the protests, remaining completely shut, Nashik, Kolhapur and Sangli were some of the other major centres where life was thrown out of gear due to the bandh.

Farmers and Jai Jawan Jai Kisan activists pour milk on the road during a protest as part of the Maharashtra bandh in Nagpur on Monday;

The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) remained open in some places such as Pune, Solapur, Dhule and Navi Mumbai.

All major APMCs from Nashik district, including Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon and Niphad, remained closed. Life in cities across the district too was affected. Major markets in Sangli and Kolhapur were completely shut down.

Farmers in Chandwad resorted to road roko on the Manmad-Chandwad road. There was also a onion-throwing protest in Yeola of Nashik district. Farmers on bullock carts blocked the Nashik-Niphad-Chandwad road to extend support to the bandh.

Farmers in Puntamba also stopped trains carrying agricultural goods from Gujarat to Pune. In Sangamner, farmers burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and condemned the policies of the government.

Minor clashes over closing of shops were reported from Kolhapur, where workers of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana were aggressive. Milk tankers from Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara going to Mumbai via the Mumbai-Pune expressway were given Z-category security to avoid untoward incidents.

In Madhya Pradesh, the 10-day farmers’ stir took a political turn on Monday, with the opposition Congress announcing support to the agitation. State Congress chief Arun Yadav said the Congress is aggressively supporting the agitation by the farmers and party workers have been instructed to join the crusade of the agitating farmers.

Reports of farmers enforcing a shutdown in Mandsaur and looting and destroying a truck full of milk packets in Jhabua district surfaced on Monday.

MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched a veiled attack on the opposition party, alleging that certain vested interests were behind the violent protests. “The farmers are not at all involved in violence, it’s anti-social elements and certain vested interests who are behind the violence,” said Chouhan. He also stressed on the need for the government to purchase agricultural produce at more cost whenever the market prices go down. The CM announced that a Price Stabilisation Fund of Rs 1,000 crore is being set up for this.

While maintaining that a bumper onion crop had triggered price crash, Chouhan said the government has decided to purchase onions from farmers at Rs 8 per kg. The process has already begun in Indore, Ujjain and Mandsaur districts. Also, it has been decided to purchase ‘moong’ and ‘toor’ pulses at Rs 5,500 and Rs 5,050 per quintal.

While the RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Kisan Sangh had called off the stir following a meeting with the CM on Sunday, other bodies like Bhartiya Kisan Union and Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh are yet to call of the 10-day long protest.

Why are the two states facing trouble?

Farmers from the drought-hit states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have taken to the streets in the last few days. Supported by opposition parties, protests in certain areas have taken a violent turn


Areas that witnessed violence

Ahmednagar, Nashik, Kohlapur and Pune districts are at the core of the latest agitation of farmers in

Maharashtra. On Monday, the administration had to shut down Internet in some areas

Where did the protests begin?

Ahmednagar; the only district where the Congress still holds power in all local bodies and a majority of Assembly seats

What do the farmers want?

Implementation of MS Swaminathan Commission’s recommendation that farm produce be paid 50 per cent over and above minimum support price as cost of production

No interest on farm loans

Pensions for farmers aged over 60

D50 per litre price for milk

Absolute subsidy for drip and sprinkler irrigation

Uninterrupted power supply to farms

Why is there a problem?

Farmers are unable to recover investments from cash crops such as cotton, soybean, grapes, sugarcane, onions and toor

1.37 crore Total number of farmers

78% Of the total number of farmers are small and marginalised

31 lakh Farmers are loan defaulters

L31,000 cr Amount of money needed to waive loans of the defaulters

Madhya Pradesh

Areas that witnessed violence

Dhar, Jhabua, Ratlam, Mandsaur, Indore, Agar Malwa, Shajapur, Ujjain, Khargone and Khandwa

What do the farmers want?

Prices of farmers’ produce be determined on the basis of cost incurred on production

Returns on the produce be at least one-and-a-half times more than the production cost

Loans of farmers be waived off

Why is there a problem?

Government hasn’t formulated a long-term policy for farmer produce
Farmers are forced to sell produce, especially pulses at throwaway prices

Price of tomato Rs 5 per kg

Price of onion Rs 2 per kg

A45,000 cr Loan waiver demanded by Rashtriya Kishan Mazdoor Sangh, the Bhartiya Kisan Union and the Bhartiya Kisan Sena

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