The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana led by former Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti on Monday protested in front of Mantralaya here against the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal.
The RCEP, comprising 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc and six other countries -- India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact.
The objective of launching RCEP negotiations is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement.
Leaders of India and 15 Asia-Pacific countries are expected to announce later on Monday successful conclusion of seven-year negotiations to create the world's largest free trade region though its formal signing will be pushed to February next year.
The protesters demanded the Centre step back from the RCEP deal since it would bring severe hardship to the farming and industrial sectors in the country.
They distributed milk, curd, soyabean and other items to bystanders and were seen explaining to them that deals on milk, textiles and automobiles to be inked by India with various RCEP member countries like China, New Zealand and Australia would lead to cheap imports and domestic job losses.
Shetti said his outfit along with 200 others groups would protest nationwide if the Union government does not cancel the deal.
Senior Inspector Mrityunjay Hiremath of Marine Drive police station said 12 protesters, including former Hatkanangle MP Shetti, were detained and later released.
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