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Defying police notice, Maha farmers start 52-km 'long march' in Ahmednagar

The agitation, coming exactly a month after the Nashik-Mumbai 'long march', has been organised by the All India Kisan Sabha and other organisations

Farmers' Protest

Farmers' Protest

IANS Ahmednagar

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Defying a police notice and soaring temperatures, hundreds of Maharashtra farmers started their 3-day "long march" from Akole to Loni, in support of their demands from the state government, the organisers said here on Wednesday.
The agitation, coming exactly a month after the Nashik-Mumbai 'long march', has been organised by the All India Kisan Sabha and other organisations, and will reach the office of Dairy Development & Revenue Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil in Loni on Friday.
The Ahmednagar police had issued notice to the organisers refusing permission for the long march in view of the scorching summer temperatures - upto 39 degrees Celsius in the district, ostensibly to avert a Navi Mumbai type tragedy.
Nevertheless, the farmers carrying red flags, banners and posters, shouting slogans for their demands started their march towards Loni, 52 km away through a winding route.
The 15,000-plus marchers were flagged off by journalist-activist P. Sainath and comprised top AIKS leaders like Dr Ashok Dhavale, Dr Ajit Nawale, CPI-M state Secretary Uday Narkar and others this afternoon.
AIKS General Secretary Nawale said the tillers demand the vesting of forest lands in the names of the farmers and agricultural workers, remunerative prices for cotton, milk, soyabean, tur, gram and other products.
He said that owing to the recent natural calamities "plus the corrupt and immoral politics" witnessed in the state, the basic problems of farmers, workers, agricultural labourers and all workers have been neglected and issues of development are side-lined.
Keeping in mind the concerns arising out of the high temperatures, the organisers have made suitable arrangements for drinking water, shade, walking only in the morning and evening hours, etc, Narkar said.
The AIKS said that since the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are offering all kinds of bribes and sops, or attempting to break political parties with the fear of jail, it has now become imperative for the people to again take to the streets to resolve their burning problems.
Nawale asserted that if the farmers' demands were not met, then they would stage an indefinite sit-in protest in Loni, near Minister Vikhe-Patil's office, as the police went on the alert.
On March 28, the AIKS' farmers long march had been stopped just short of Mumbai after the state government announced that their demands had been accepted and issued written orders to the effect.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 26 2023 | 7:14 PM IST

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