Rajasthan peasants extend their support to agitating farmers

NEW DELHI
7 Jun 2017

Protests by farmers in Madhya Pradesh spilled into Rajasthan, with those from the state's Pratapgarh district, neighbouring Mandsaur, stopped the supply of milk and vegetables for a day in support of their demands but later withdrew their stir after assurances from the administration. A farmer's body, Kisan Mahapanchayat today decided to go to Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, which is about 30 km from Pratapgarh and relatives of many farmers live there, to meet the families of those who were killed in yesterday's violence. Five persons were killed yesterday as the farmers' agitation turned violent in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh, prompting the authorities to clamp curfew in the trouble-hit area. President of the Mahapanchayat, Rampal Jat today held a meeting and later took out a rally from Anaj Mandi to Gandhi Chowk there in support of the agitating farmers. "We paid obeisance to the five victims at Gandhi Chowk and observe silence for two minutes. Now are moving to Mandsaur to meet the family members of the victims. Nearly 100 people will be going to Mandsaur, Jat told PTI. He said that the farmers from across the country were with the agitating peasants in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.In Rajasthan, he said, farmers are holding a dharna at Mandi Bandh in Pratapgarh and the movement is likely to reach villages. "We will be meeting farmers in Tonk, Swai Madhopur, Kota Bundi, Bhilwara, Chhittorgarh, Pratapgarh and Ajmer in the next three days to decide future course of action," he added. Condemning the alleged atrocities by police on protesting farmers in Mandsaur, he said the government is trying to suppress the voice of farmers in the democracy, which is not acceptable. "We will continue to fight for our demands. We have presented a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje apprising them about the issues of farmers. We want farmers to be free from all kinds of loans and the government should implement Kisan Commission 2004 report from August 15, 2007. The Centre should also get Farmers' Income and Pricing Guarantee Bill 2012 passed," he said. Considering it to be a sensitive matter, Pratapgarh district administration officials said they have made ample arrangement to control the situation. "There was a protest of farmers yesterday, which was called-off after their meeting with us. The situation is under control in Pratapgarh. However, we are alert as the matter is sensitive," Pratapgarh district collector, Neha Giri said. District Superintendent of Police Shivraj Meena said that as the district is neighbouring Mandsaur and many local farmers have relatives there, there were some agitation here. "But as a precautionary measure, we have made our arrangements, he added. Former MLA and All India Kisan Sabha state president Pemaram said farmers in Rajasthan will also launch a state- wide agitation if the government fails to meet their demands. "Problem of farmers in Rajasthan are same as that of those in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. We also want higher prices for milk, hike in minimum support price (MSP) and loan waiver. Farmers would submit memorandum to district collectors and the state government should take our ultimatum seriously," he said. Meanwhile, farmers in Rajasthan's international border district Srigangnagar and neighboring towns are protesting since last one week, demanding proper water supply for crop irrigation. "Ganga canal, which is a major source of water supply for drinking water and crop irrigation, has been damanged at 550 places. Of which 327 need to be repaired immediately. We have also been protesting for issues of equal water distribution to farmers for their crops, member of Central Farmers Council, Sheopat Meghwal said.(PTI)