Maharashtra: Farmers in Maharashtra emptied huge containers of milk and dumped fruits and vegetables on roads to demand a crop loan waiver and better procurement prices. In the temple town of Shirdi too, farmers wasted hundreds of litres of milk and threw large quantities of tomatoes and green chillies on streets.
In Nashik, the police had to resort to lathi-charge to bring the situation under control after trucks full of pomegranates and onions headed to different cities in the state were unloaded on the street. So far, 21 people have been detained. Wholesale markets in Nashik are also shut. Seventeen wholesale markets have reported no business. Businesses at several agricultural produce marketing centres have also been affected.
Karan Gaykar of Kisan Kranti Morcha, a farmers' body which is leading the protests, and believed to be close to the Shiv Sena, told reporters, "Our strike is successful. All APMCs have supported us. We demand that the government gives attention to farmers' demands. We are not getting anything for our produce so what's the point of selling it."
The morcha has given the government two days to act on this issue.
A section of farmers in Ahmednagar district has gone on an indefinite strike from today after talks with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday failed.
There will be serious repercussions of the strike as several cities in the state will face a shortage vegetables, fruits and milk.
"Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will have a 'plan B' ready to face any situation if farmers stop sending vegetables and milk to Mumbai," news agency PTI quoted Maharashtra agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar.
The farmer bodies have been demanding a complete waiver of farm loans, free electricity, appropriate remunerative prices for their produce, irrigation grants and higher price for milk and implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee recommendations which supports a holistic national policy for farmers.
Lawmaker Raju Shetty, who heads Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan, a farmers' body, led a march from Pune to Mumbai's Raj Bhavan on Wednesday to press for better deals for their produce.