Farmers of 7 states went on a 10 days strike today united under the banner of Rashtriya Kisan Mahasang (RKM), a federation of 130 farmers’ organizations. The seven states who went on strike are Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. The protesting farmers wants the government to fulfill their demands of providing Minimum Support Price (MSP), loan waivers for all the farmers across country and payouts to small farmers to match their income. They also demanded an assurance of permanent minimum income from the country.
The protesting farmers will also suspend the supply of vegetables and dairy products to other towns and cities. The supply will be stopped for the duration of the ongoing strike. If one wants to buy vegetables and dairy products then they will need to visit the farmers themselves by visiting the villages. The farmers formed groups and staged roadside dharnas and protests along 30 major highways all across the country. Police in the protesting states have been put on high alert to stop any kind of violence.
Farmers in many states were seen spilling milk on roads and throwing vegetables and fruits on the road following the protest in the ‘Kisan Avkash’ strike.
“Farmers will not block any roads. The protests will be peaceful. Around 200 organisations have extended support to the protest,” said Abhimanyu Kohar, national general secretary of RKM. And about the stopping of supplies to the cities he said that “If anyone wants to purchase vegetables and dairy products, they will have to drive to the villages to buy them.”
Agriculture Minister, Gauri Bisen has asked people not to panic and she also said that the strike would not have any affect on the daily life of citizens.
“We won’t sell veggies at less than Rs 40, we will continue protest until govt agrees to our demand,” farmers of Mandsaur demanded. Earlier consumers bought vegetables, fruits and milk as the price was increased to 15% to 30%. Last year on June 6 five farmers were killed in police firing during protests in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, this year is the first anniversary of their killing. The farmers of Mandsaur said that they will avail to non violance during the protest but they will also stop the supplies of the vegetables and milk.