The strike began on a violent note when a police vehicle was pelted with stones in Lasalgaon at 1 am on Thursday.
Nashik: All 19 APMCs in Nashik district and 3,500 milk collection centres remained shut on Thursday, the first day of the state-wide farmers’ strike. There was no trading in foodgrains and onions as the stir was supported by the onion farmers as well. Many incidents of road blocks and stone pelting were reported from the region.
The strike began on a violent note when a police vehicle was pelted with stones in Lasalgaon at 1 am on Thursday. Eight people, all belonged to the surrounding villages, were arrested but it could not be confirmed if they were miscreants, political activists or farmers.
Agitators staged a road blockade in Chandwad tehsil town off the Mumbai-Agra Highway and stopped trucks and tankers carrying supplies to Mumbai and burnt effigies. Milk tankers were stopped in Naitale village and Bharwas phata in Niphad tehsil of Nashik. In Takli phata of Niphad, a truck transporting milk was stopped and about 800 litres of milk was spilled on the road.
Chandwad APMC Chairman and BJP block leader in the Nashik zilla parishad, Dr Atmaram Kumbharde said the agitation had been hijacked by politicians and was no more about farmers. “I am a farmer and I understand farmers. The BJP is with the farmers, but the opposition, the NCP and Congress, assisted by Sena, have turned this issue into a political one. Some farmers had brought their produce to the APMC but they were not allowed entry,” he said.
Meanwhile in Nashik, vegetable prices doubled overnight due to shortage. Some enterprising traders had stocked vegetables on Wednesday and sold them at double the price. A bunch of coriander which generally sells for Rs 20, was sold for Rs 100; brinjals which were available for Rs 20 per kg on Wednesday, went at Rs 40 per kg on Thursday.