MUMBAI: Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) MP Raju Shetty, who has been spearheading the dairy farmers' stir in Maharashtra, stopped the Ahmedabad-Mumbai passenger train at Dahanu railway station in an attempt to block the milk coming to Mumbai from Gujarat, as the the agitation entered the third day on Wednesday.
To ensure smooth supply of Milk to Mumbai, the Railways have made special arrangements under which three milk tankers attached to the Ahmedabad-Mumbai passenger train reached Mumbai on Tuesday. To prevent any such tanker today, Shetty reached Dahanu railway station in Palghar district, around 100 km from here, at around 7 am in the morning.
He along with his party workers also stopped the train at the station. However, there were no milk tankers attached to the train today. "The state government seems in no mood to listen to the woes of milk-producing farmers, who will hold a chakka-jam (road block) protest on major roads in the state tomorrow.
There will be cattle on roads tomorrow," Shetty said after the agitation at Dahanu."We have used this method to increase the effectiveness of the agitation earlier also. A mob can be dispersed easily, but when over 50 cattle gather at a spot, you cannot move them off the road," he added.
Though the agitation is getting a good response from several places across the state, the agitators have not been able to completely block the milk supply of Mumbai, which they had intended to do. The protests were reported from several places in districts like Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Pune, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Nanded and Aurangabad. However, there has not been a great impact on milk supply of these cities.
Many private and cooperative dairies have reduced or stopped milk collection to avoid any untoward situation as some tankers were emptied on roads, the agitators claimed.However, in the state legislature Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the government shall sternly deal with the agitators.
In replying a query from leader of opposition in the state assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Fadnavis assured the house that the agitators won't be charged with IPC sections meant for decoity. "However, the government won't tolerate vandalism anymore," he said.