Tribune News Service
Mumbai, June 6
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday came under fire from farmer organisations and the Shiv Sena over the arrests of striking farmers in different parts of the state.
While the farmer organisations have accused the Chief Minister of trying to break the strike, the Shiv Sena warned Fadnavis that farmers’ anger would consume the state government if he did not change course. “The government should not tag the farmers as violent criminals for protesting on the streets. It is their prolonged agony which is on display here,” an editorial in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna said.
The newspaper hit out at the government for the large-scale arrests of farmers and suspension of mobile Internet services in Nashik, where the strike is near-total. “The farmers of Nashik are being treated like the traitors of Kashmir who are throwing stones at Indian soldiers.... The whole of Nashik district is being treated as a disturbed area where mobile Internet has been suspended,” Saamna added.
The newspaper also hit out the BJP’s trolls who have been making fun of protesting farmers on social media. Saamna said the protesting farmers who have shaved their heads and demonstrated atop water tanks should not be ridiculed by the BJP or it would pay the price.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said his government would not negotiate with political leaders who claim to represent the farmers. “The government will hold talks only with genuine farmers,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying.
Farmer allegedly commits suicide in Nashik
Meanwhile, the police said a farmer in Yeola tehsil of Nashik district, where the agitation is intense, committed suicide.
Navnath Changdev Bhalerao, resident of Pimpri village in the district, ended his life by consuming a poisonous chemical, said a local police officer.
As the agitation continued in Nashik district, the police have prohibited assembly of people in public places under CrPC section 144 till June 19.
All 17 agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) and 20 sub-APMCs in the district remained closed today too, and onion auctions couldn't take place, said Jaidutta Holkar, chairman of Lasalgaon APMC.
On Monday, another farmer, Gorakh Savaliram Kokane, resident of Waki Budruk in Chandvad tehsil of Nashik district, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his house.
The agitation continued in the district with several vehicles carrying vegetables to Mumbai stopped by protesters.
Protesting farmers also locked down the office of talathi (village revenue officer) at Naitale in Nifad tehsil.
Vegetable-carrying trucks heading for Mumbai faced protesters in the neighbouring Ahmednagar district too. With PTI inputs
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