Farmers call off stir, suspend march to Mumbai after government assurance
Thousands of farmers under the banner of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), who were marching towards Mumbai, called off their agitation on Thursday after the Maharashtra government assured them that their demands would be fulfilled.
The CPI(M) backed AIKS announced a suspension of the 180-km march from Nashik to Mumbai after a three-and-a-half hour meeting of its representatives with state ministers Girish Mahajan and Jaykumar Rawal yesterday.
The state government sought two to three months of time to fulfill their demands, which include a complete waiver of farm loans and implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations.
Other prominent demands also include withdrawing of cases registered against farmers during farmers’ protests, providing land to tribals for farming as per tribal act, and provision of Arabian Sea to them for agriculture.
AIKS president Ashok Dhawale suspended the march after the third round of talks with the government finally helped break the deadlock.
Dhawale, however, added that farmers will again launch the protest again in case the promises made in writing were not fulfilled. The agitating farmers, meanwhile, have started returning to their respective native villages.
On Wednesday, the farmers had started their march from Nashik towards the state Legislative Assembly in Mumbai.
However, the march was deferred by a day allegedly after the state police stopped scores of farmers approaching Nashik from districts like Thane, Palghar and Ahmednagar.
This is the second time in the last 12 months that farmers took to the roads to protest against the betrayal of peasants by the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state. Around 30,000 farmers had participated in the march last time.