Farmers begin 10-day nationwide protest against ‘anti-farmer’ govt. policies

BHOPAL/MANDSAUR/CHANDIGARH: Protesting farmers dumped vegetables, milk and other farm produce on roads and blocked supplies to cities in several states on June 1 as they launched a 10-day agitation to press their demands, including loan waiver and right price for crops.
Farmer organizations also called for boycott of mandis or wholesale markets in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, leading to fears of shortage and price rise.
Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh (RKMM) convenor Shivkumar Sharma told reporters in Bhopal that the “Gaon Band’ stir is being held across 22 states.
Police have kept a close vigil in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, where six farmers were killed in police firing during the farmers’ agitation on June 6 last year.
“The cultivators have been asked not to come to the markets in urban areas to sell their farm produce, including milk,” Sharma added.
On the last day of the protest on June 10, the farmers’ bodies will organize ‘Bharat Bandh’, he said.
Markets were also shut in adjoining Neemuch district.
The Mandsaur SP said no untoward incident was reported in the district so far.”Five companies of the Special Armed Force (SAF) of MP police are keeping a vigil across the district,” he said.
The decision to stop supplies starting from June 1 till June 10 was taken by farmers under the banner of Kisan Ekta Manch and Rashtriya Kisan Maha Sangh.
A meeting of the coordination committee of these two farmers organizations, which claim to be representing 172 farmer outfits, was held here last month to give final shape to the program.
Balbir Singh Rajewal, president, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), claimed good response from farmers in Punjab and other states.
“Farmers have stopped bringing vegetables, milk and other items to the cities for sale,” he claimed.
Rajewal claimed that not only in Punjab and Haryana, farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and some other states were also not selling their produce in cities.
At some places in Punjab, farmers dumped vegetables and milk on road as a mark of protest.

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