The Maharashtra police has initiated a crackdown on participants of the proposed farmers’ march which is to begin Wednesday. The Dhule Police detained leaders of the Satyashodhak Shetkari Sabha from Dahiwel on Tuesday morning as they were preparing to head towards Nashik to take part in the march.
The police also detained a large number of participants in Pimpalner in Dhule district.
The Dhule police is said to have told protestors that they did not have the requisite permission for the march.
The All India Kisan Sabha which is planning to undertake a second “Long March” of farmers from Nashik to Mumbai to press for their demands. Earlier this week, they claimed that the Devendra Fadnavis-led government is trying to disrupt the march by arresting its leaders.
Close to 40,000 farmers had undertaken a march towards Mumbai to stage a protest outside the state legislature against the government’s response to the distress in the state’s farm sector in March last year. The farmers’ “long march” had been called by Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha (ABKS) which is affiliated to the CPI (M).
The protesting farmers were subsequently given an assurance in writing by the state government to accept their demands including clear pending appeals regarding applications for titles to forest land.
11 Months after the assurances were given the AIKS had in early February said that it wanted to take out a second march starting February 20 which would reach Mumbai on February on 27 to coincide with the state Legislative Assembly’s Budget Session.
Watch video: Why farmers in Maharashtra are protesting
“A year has passed, but the government has not executed the promises it made. There is dissent among the farmers,” the AIKS had said in a statement on February 5 when it announced the second march.
The demands that AIKS has raised includes immediate relief on the drought situation, debt waiver, MSP at one and a half times the full cost of production, a pro-farmer crop insurance scheme, increased pension, ration and food security.