A milk tanker was set afire on the Nashik-Ahmednagar border.
Mumbai: The farmers’ agitation in Maharashtra turned violent on Monday with confrontations flaring up between cultivators and the police. In one such incident, a milk tanker was set afire on the Nashik-Ahmednagar border. Also, activists and the authorities clashed in Kolhapur and protesters burned tires at various sites during rasta roko protests. Furthermore, various agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) downed their shutters on Monday and big dairies like Gokul, Krishna, Sonai and Rajhans in Ahmednagar failed to collect milk. Also, 27 milk tankers travelling from Kolhapur to Mumbai had to be provided with Z security owing to the stir.
The bandh, which was called by farmers’ organisations, has received with a warm response in the northern and western parts of the state and certain areas in the Marathwada region.
Reacting to the state of affairs, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, while speaking to ANI, said, “The government is ready to talk to farmers, but we won’t hold discussions with political leaders.”
Farmer organisations have been on strike from June 1 over various demands, including a complete loan waiver. In a bid to intensify their protest, the farmers called for the organisation of a ‘Maharashtra bandh’ on Monday, and received an overwhelming response in Jalgaon, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Pune, Satara, Sangli, Solapur, Kolhapur, Osmanabad and Beed districts. However, in other parts of the state — especially Vidarbha — there was no blanket protests.
Protesters seemed hell-bent on bringing the supply of milk and vegetables to cities to a standstill. In Akole tehsil of Ahmednagar, angry farmers burnt down a milk tanker after confrontation with the police. On the previous night, farmers from the district had halted milk tankers in their area.
Meanwhile, when the police tried to take farmers who had held a rasta roko in Tasgaon, Sangli, into its custody, protesters burned tires. Similar incidents took place in Chandvad in Nashik and Barshi in Solapur.
There were also incidents where farmers butted heads with traders. In Kolhapur, traders tried to restrain the farmers when latter tried to shut down an APMC forcefully.
Protesters also took to burning effigies of Mr Fadnavis at various places, and the police clashed with agitators over this at Srirampur in Ahmednagar district, Nandgaon in Nashik district, Tuljapur in Osmanabad district and Shirur in Pune district. Symbolic funeral processions for Mr Fadnavis were held in Devargaon, Vadangali and Mhalasa Kore villages.