Thousands of Indian farmers protest lack of government support in Mumbai city

Thousands of Indian farmers protest lack of government support in Mumbai city

Before reaching their destination, farmers camped at the Thane-Mumbai border this morning.

Local reports said that the farmers, a lot of them wearing red caps and holding up flags with the sickle and hammer symbol, have covered 30km on foot every day to reach Mumbai.

Finally, the Maharashtra government seems to have woken up to the plight of the farmers who are planning to gherao the state Assembly on Monday to press for their demands, including complete waiver of loans.

In June past year, similar protests had boiled over most parts of the state, forcing the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led government to announce a conditional Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver, which farmers said has not been implemented properly. "Some farmers in Dindori taluk have faced bank action and confiscation of tractors", he said.

Farmers in the state, struggling to cope with the agrarian crisis and natural calamities, are demanding the proper implementation of the loan waiver package announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in 2017, the implementation of recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission, and protesting the government's "anti-farmer policies". "They have given us a time of 12 noon, and we will be at Vidhan Sabha at 12".

Mumbai police issued a traffic advisory in anticipation of the impact thousands of farmers will have on commutation as they arrive in Mumbai as part of the "Long March".

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Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde has tweeted, "In light of Kisan Long March, SSC students appearing for exams tomorrow are advised to ensure that they reach exam centres well beforehand to avoid delays". Team of State Reserve Police Force and Riot Control Force also deployed.

Farmers march under the banner of by All India Kisan Sabha, in Mumbai on March 11, 2018.

They said that farmers were also protesting against the state governments land acquisition for projects like high speed rail and super highways.

The agitating farmers are also demanding compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for destruction of crops due to hailstorm and pink-worm, allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers and implementation of Forest Rights Act.

The farmers have been covering 30 km every day since they started out from Nashik on March 6. "We are ready to discuss with the government but will not withdraw the protest". The march is being organized by the Communist Party of India - Marxist's farmers body, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), and has garnered support from other parties like Shiv Sena, MNS, CPI, AAP and the Swaraj Abhiyaan.

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