With a large number of farmers marching to Bhubaneswar to stage a demonstration here Monday, the Odisha government stopped them Sunday midway at various places, triggering criticism from the opposition Congress and BJP.
The farmers, who are on 'padayatra' demanding "price, prestige and pension", were stopped by the police at various places to foil their protest, alleged Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) convenor Akshya Kumar.
As the farmers marched to the state capital from Cuttack and Khurda, the administration clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code at Hansapal and Tamando to stall the protest, said a leader of the NNKS, which is spearheading the agitation.
He alleged the farmers have been held up at various places like Keonjhar, Balugaon, Jatasinghpur and Jajpur since October 29.
Accusing the state government of trying to suppress the farmers' voice, Kumar and other NNKS leaders said the action is being taken also against the people for criticising the government.
Around 25 platoons of police, each having around 30 personnel, have been deployed to prevent law and order problems, he said, adding special attention is being given to ensure smooth traffic movement, especially on the national highways near the capital city.
The state government has shown little concern for the farmers despite their repeated demands, Majhi said, adding if the government fails to fulfil their demands by tomorrow, the state capital will be put under seize.
The NNKS has been demanding minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 5,000 per quintal for paddy and a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 for the youths and Rs 1,500 for the elderly, said Kumar.
Panda slammed the state government for trying to "throttle" the voice of farmers.
Thousands of farmers from across the state are staging a peaceful agitation but the way the administration is trying to obstruct them is not justified, he said.
The Union government has taken several measures to double the farmers' income in the country, but due to wrong policies of the Odisha government, the farmers have been deprived of the benefits of the Centre's various schemes, Mohanty claimed.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)