Maharashtra farmers begin strike, spilled milk on highway

Mumbai, June 1, 2017: Over half a million farmers in Maharashtra are on an indefinite strike from today in support of various demands including the long-pending loan waiver package, the scrapping of Centre’s new cattle slaughter ban.

Soon after the strike begins, minor incidents of violence unprecedented ‘indefinite strike’ of farmers begin on Thursday.

Striking farmers, who had warned they would not indulge in any farming activity, including sowing for the upcoming kharif season, resorted to the agitation after talks with the Maharashtra government failed on Tuesday.

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Stray incidents of violence were reported from some parts including Nashik, Satara and Pune where aggressive farmers emptied tankers of several tonnes of fresh milk on the highway which is being transported to the cities and destroyed stocks of fresh vegetables being taken to the markets.

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In another incident near Satara, the driver of a milk tanker was roughed up by some farmers and prevented from proceeding to his destination. Stones were also pelted at some police vehicles near Nashik.

The strike has elicited “good response” from farmers all over the state, except from agriculturists in the coastal Konkan, who are not part of the agitation.

Movement of agricultural goods has been restricted since midnight.

Most APMC markets wore a desolate look as farmers, traders, head-loaders, transporters and other officials virtually kept off.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held a three-hour-long meeting the delegation of the farmers on Tuesday, however, they were not convinced and decided to go ahead with the strike.

Wefornews Bureau

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