Maharashtra farmers' protest land acquisition; vehicles torched on Thane-Badlapur highway

The recently quelled farmers' protest in Maharashtra has resurfaced in Kalyan in Thane district as protesting farmers torched three to four police vehicles and assaulted around 10 policemen.

According to CNN-News 18, the protesting farmers have blocked the Thane-Badlapur Highway and have resorted to arson. Additional forces and riot control police have been sent to the area to contain the unrest.

An ANI report said that the farmers were protesting against the acquisition of their lands by the Ministry of Defence. The Indian Navy is reportedly planning to build a wall, which is at the root of the current agitation, CNN-News 18 reported. More details on the issue are still awaited.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Another report in Hindustan Timesstates that the authorities are planning to transform a currently defunct World War II airstrip into an international airport. The move has added fuel to fire, as farmers already hit by declining farm income, had to face land acquisitions.

The farmer agitation comes close on the heels of another 10-day-long bloody agitation by farmers, that was finally called off on 11 June.

From 1 June, over half a million farmers across Maharashtra, barring coastal Konkan, went on an unprecedented strike, marred by several violent incidents.

Major cities like Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur and others felt the pinch of the strike as shortages loomed large, coupled with spiralling prices of essentials like milk, fresh fruit, vegetables, and even food grain.

The farmers' demands included a waiver on farm loans, free electricity, appropriate remunerative prices for their produce, grants for irrigation, pension for farmers aged 60 years and above, and implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee recommendations.

However, the government, after extended negotiations, was able to convince the farmers to call off the strike. The Maharashtra government has already announced a farm loan waiver for small and marginal farmers and as for the implementation of Swaminathan panel recommendations, it has said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will lead a delegation of ministers and farmers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the demand can be fulfilled by the Centre alone.

 


Published Date: Jun 22, 2017 11:53 am | Updated Date: Jun 22, 2017 12:20 pm


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