Chhattisgarh Police arrests 129 farmers in separate incidents, foils bid to gherao CM's residence

Raipur (Chhattisgarh): At least 129 farmers were arrested from separate places of Chhattisgarh's capital ahead of their scheduled protest on Thursday in support of various demands, including Rs 2,100 minimum support price for per quintal of paddy.

Farmers under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh had planned to gather at dharna sthal (site of sit-in) near Budha Talab area at 1 pm and then march towards chief minister's official residence to gherao (lay siege) it, but the police personnel foiled their bid.

 Chhattisgarh Police arrests 129 farmers in separate incidents, foils bid to gherao CMs residence

Representational image. PTI

As many as 129 farmers, including leaders of Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh, were held from separate places since Thursday morning under preventive measures, Raipur superintendent of police (acting) Akbar Ram Korram told PTI.

The protesters had planned to gherao the Chief Minister's house in support of their various demands, he added. Of them, three farmer leaders Arvind Netam, Anand Mishra and Lakhan Singh were released unconditionally. However, others will also be released soon, he added.

The administration had imposed Section 144 of CrPC (prohibitory orders) in Raipur district keeping in view the farmers’ protest in a bid to prevent any untoward situation, the SP said.

Meanwhile, police officials also informed that Section 144 was clamped in districts of Durg range in view of the farmers protest and arrests were also made there. Following the inputs that law and order situation may turn tense during the protest, Section 144 was imposed in districts including Rajnandgaon, Balod and Kabeerdham, Inspector General of Police (Durg Range) Dipasnhu Kabra told PTI.

Farmers were held at some places under the preventive measures and later released unconditionally, the IG added.

Meanwhile, the protesters have accused the state government of suppressing the voice of farmers using force. High-handed action on farmers by police has exposed the "oppressive" and "anti-people" face of the state government, Alok Shukla, a member of Mahasangh said.

The ruling BJP had promised during 2013 assembly polls to give Rs 2,100 MSP and Rs 300 bonus for each quintal of paddy to farmers but it ditched them, he alleged. Recently, the state government had announced to give bonus to farmers against procuring their paddy only for the last crop season which is nothing but an attempt to woo them ahead of the next year poll, he said.

In support of various demands, including loan waiver, bonus for two years (2014-15 and 2015-16), implementation of Swaminathan committee’s report, farmers had launched ‘Sankalp Yatra’ from Rajanandgaon since 19 September and on Thursday the protest was scheduled to held in Raipur, Shukla said.

The state government tried to suppress a peaceful protest by putting around 300 farmers behind bars, he claimed.

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Updated Date: Sep 21, 2017 22:51:00 IST

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