Mumbai

AIKS to gherao govt. offices on Tuesday

Farmers begin fresh protest to press for demands

The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has said that its members would gherao government offices on June 5. Dr. Ajit Nawale, general secretary, said that farmers would “gift” people tur dal imported from Mozambique, sugar from Pakistan, and milk from Gujarat and Karnataka as a symbolic gesture to register their protest.

The AIKS began a fresh agitation on Friday to protest against the State government’s failure to fulfil its demands put forward in March this year. The AIKS and the Sangharsh Samiti, which is also part of the campaign, denied any allegiance to recent instances of milk and agricultural produce dumped on the roads by a few farmers.

However, both the bodies stated that they would instruct farmers to stop supplying milk from June 7 unless the government responds to their protest on June 5. “A temporary ₹3 concession to the milk companies is a measure that does not benefit the farmers engaged in the protests,” Dr. Nawale said.

On June 1 last year, the AIKS had held a massive rally demanding that the government remove the conditions imposed for the disbursement of the ₹34,000-crore farm loan waiver. The protesters also demanded efficient implementation of the loan waiver scheme and a system to ensure eligible farmers were considered for the waiver.

When the State government failed to act on the demands, the AIKS organised a long march of farmers to the city on March 12. The government was forced to take notice as thousands of farmers camped in Azad Maidan and planned to gherao the Mantralaya. However, the Chief Minister met the leaders of the rally and sought time of about two-and-a-half months to meet the demands. Mr. Fadnavis had said that he would form a committee to look into all cases of loan waivers.

On Friday, the farmers affiliated to the AIKS surrounded government offices in 23 districts of the State. The farmers had also announced a 10-day campaign to demand immediate implementation of loan waivers and transferring of land rights.

Dr. Ashok Dhawale, national president, AIKS, said, “If the government still doesn’t relent, we will carry out massive roadblocks. Our demands need to be met with urgency as polls are coming up. We cannot afford to wait any longer. Time has already run out.”

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 12:42:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/aiks-to-gherao-govt-offices-on-tuesday/article24070017.ece

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