The protesters, joined by tribals, had halted at the KJ Somaiya Ground before marching towards Azad Maidan on Monday morning
After an arduous journey of almost 170 km that started on March 5, a swarm farmers participating in ‘kisan long march’ to voice their demands to the Maharashtra government, finally reached Mumbai on Sunday. The numbers heavily increased along the way from 30,000 agitatators to about 50,000, according to the organisers.
Enduring the scorching heat in a march that started from Maharashtra’s Nashik district six days ago, the farmers moved slowly across the length of Mumbai and finally reached Azad Maidan on Monday at 5 in the morning. The protesters, joined by tribals, had halted at the KJ Somaiya Ground before making their way to Azad Maidan.
The farmers in the rally are demanding a complete waiver on loans and electricity bills, ensuring remunerative prices for crops, and implementing the Forest Rights Act for the benefit of scheduled tribes, among other things.
Last year, the Maharashtra government had announced a loan waiver of Rs 40 billion under the first phase of the farm loan waiver scheme. Today, the farmers plan to lay siege to the Maharasthra Assembly in Mumbai where the state Budget session is underway.
“We will gherao the Vidhan Bhavan on Monday to demand a complete loan waiver, fair price for farm produce, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, compensation for hailstorm-affected farmers among other things,” Kisan Gujar, President of the state council of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) told PTI.
Here are the top 10 developments around the Maharashtra farmers’ protest at Azad Maidan:
1. Food distributed among farmers halted at Azad Maidan; several suffering from dehydration: According to media reports, food is being distributed among farmers camped at Azad Maidan before they embark on to their march towards State Assembly later in the day.
Several farmers in the process are reportedly dehydrated after marching for more than 30 km on Sunday in Mumbai. There is also medical dispensary set up at Azad Maidan. Doctors who spoke to CNN-News18, said farmers were suffering from blood pressure and diarrhea.
2. Shiv Sena plans to disrupt the State Assembly functioning: According to media reports, the Shiv Sena said they are not going to let the state Assembly function on Monday until the farmers’ demands are met.