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December 10, 2018

Mumbai farmers’ protest LIVE updates: Devendra Fadnavis govt trying to discredit march, say Kisan leaders







12:30 (IST)

‘Tired, our legs swollen, but we will complete the walk,’ say farmers before reaching Azad Maidan’

Exhausted from walking from for nearly a week over 180 kilometres, farmers on Monday remained tireless in their efforts to achieve what they came for. Speaking to Hindustan Timesa farmer from Beed, Parshuram Gaikwad said, “We will not move from the state legislature building until our demands are met. There is no way anyone will back out after reaching so close to the destination. Yes, we are tired and our legs have swollen, but we will complete the walk.”







12:23 (IST)

AIKS takes a dig at Narendra Modi, says farmers are marching for ‘acche din’ 







12:19 (IST)

RECAP: Visual of farmers marching towards Azad Maidan at JJ Flyover at 5 am







12:13 (IST)

Govt trying to discredit protest, say Kisan Sabha leaders

Responding to Fadnavis’ claim that 95 percent of the protesters are tribals and thus, not farmers technically, All India Kisan Sabha leaders said that it was an attempt on the part of the government to discredit the protests, reported CNN-News18. 







12:07 (IST)

Visual of farmers resting at Azad Maidan

Following a nearly six-day walk from Nashik, with blistered feet in the scorching sun, farmers have gathered at Azad Maidan in Mumbai. The farmers’ delegation led by AIKS will meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at 2 pm. 

Image courtesy: Sachin Gokhale







11:57 (IST)

Farmers in march from Raigad, Marathwada, Vidarbha districts

Farmers participating in the march hail from Marathwada, Raigad, Vidarbha and other districts. The protests also include both men and women from tribal-dominated talukas in Nashik, Thane and Palghar. 







11:51 (IST)

In five years to 2015-16, real farm income per cultivator increased by 0.44% each year

As per an IndiaSpend report published in July 2017, the inflation-adjusted farm income per cultivator increased by only 0.44 percent a year in the five years leading up to 2015-16. The article, quoting a NITI Aayog report, said that since 1993-94, it rose 108.5 percent to Rs 44,207 in 2015-16. 







11:46 (IST)

‘State positive about farmers’ demands’: Devendra Fadnavis

Speaking in the Vidhan Bhavan, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state is positive towards the farmers’ demands. “The state is positive about demands of farmers. 95 percent of the protesters are tribals, so technically they are not farmers,” he said. 







11:42 (IST)

WATCH: Farmers and protesters marching towards Azad Maidan at Kings Circle at 2 am on Monday

Video courtesy: Sanjay Sawant







11:39 (IST)

NCP state chief Sunil Tatkare, Dhananjay Munde visit farmers at Azad Maidan

NCP state president Sunit Tatkare and Dhananjay Munde visited the Kisan Sabha farmers gathered at Azad Maidan on Monday. Earlier in the morning, PWP MLC Jayant Patil also visited morcha. 

Input from Sanjay Sawant







11:34 (IST)

Devendra Fadnavis to meet farmers at 2 pm

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is set to meet the All India Kisan Sabha delegation at 2 pm, according to media reports. The farmers’ delegation was earlier supposed to meet Fadnavis around noon on Monday morning but the meeting as been deferred due to the ongoing Assembly session. 







11:22 (IST)

Volunteers distribute food among farmers gathered at Azad Maidan

Image courtesy: Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost







11:05 (IST)

Not just issue for Maharashtra farmers, but farmers all over India, says Rahul Gandhi

ANI quoted Rahul Gandhi as saying, “This is not an issue of Maharashtra farmers alone but of farmers all over India.”







10:49 (IST)

WATCH: Doctors talk about the problems farmers complained of in their march to Mumbai from Nashik 

Facebook LIVE: Sanjay Sawant







10:42 (IST)

Security tightened around Azad Maidan, Maharashtra Assembly

Traffic police have been deployed across the city to ensure smooth movement of traffic. Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) told CNN-News18 that traffic is expected to flow normally on Monday, without any disruptions. He also added that security has been increased around the Assembly and Azad Maidan. Policemen are also on foot to ensure students attending their SSC Class 10 board exams are not inconvenienced in any way. 







10:35 (IST)

WATCH: Firstpost’s Sanjay Sawant talks to Mumbaikars about the farmers’ morcha

Facebook LIVE: Sanjay Sawant







10:32 (IST)

Visual of injured farmers queing up for medical aid at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan

Image courtesy: Sachin Gokhale







10:30 (IST)

Visual of farmers gathered at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan

Image courtesy: Sachin Gokhale







10:14 (IST)

Mumbai-based artists, poets join farmers’ protest march

A group of 50 poets and artistes on Sunday joined the ongoing farmers’ protest march in Mumbai, reported The Indian Express. Artists from groups such as ‘Banned’, ‘Yalgar’ and ‘Kalsangini’ joined the farmers at the KJ Somaiyya ground in Sion. They recited poems of popular Marathi reformers such as Anna Saheb Sathe and Vaman Dada Kardak. 

Speaking to Indian Express, poet Dharmarakshit from the group ‘Yalgar’ said, “Farmers are the bread-winners of the entire nation. It is time we supported their cause and show them solidarity. Our group has always supported the actions of those who have fought for what is right.”







10:09 (IST)

Aam Aadmi Party extends support to AIKS-led farmers’ march







10:05 (IST)

WATCH: Police arrangements made at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan

Facebook LIVE: Sanjay Sawant







09:59 (IST)

Here is a cartoon on the Maharashtra farmers’ protest







09:57 (IST)

Similar protests took place in June 2017

In June 2017, similar protests had boiled over most parts of the state, forcing the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis-led government to announce a conditional Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver, which farmers said has not been implemented properly.

Similar demands of loan waiver and 50 percent profit over the input cost have been made by farmers across the country, putting the BJP-led central government in a fix.







09:54 (IST)

WATCH: Sea of red at Azad Maidan with farmers interacting with their kisan leaders







09:43 (IST)

Farmers put off marching to Vidhan Bhavan till after meeting with Devendra Fadnavis

The representative of the Maharashtra farmers morcha led by All India Kishan Sabha (AIKS) will meet Maharashtra chief minister Devender Fadnavis at 11.30 am. According to News18, the farmers will take a call after the meeting on whether to march towards the state Assembly or not.







09:40 (IST)

Mumbaikars extend support to farmers

As farmers, who have travelled from Nashik over 180 kilometres, reached Mumbai on Saturday, Mumbai residents did their bit to help them out. According to The Times of Indiathe Thane Matadata Jagran Manch provided nearly 500 kgs of food grains to peasants camped at the BMC octroi ground. 

Another group collected footwear for farmers who continued to walk in the scorching heat with blistered feet. “We were shocked to see the farmers walk barefoot on the highway. Some of us removed our footwear and offered it to the women, while others decided to donate shoes the following day,” said Nita Karnik, a resident who delivered 100 pairs of shoes.







09:32 (IST)

WATCH: Protesting farmers listen to AIKS leaders speak at Azad Maidan

Facebook LIVE: Sanjay Sawant







09:30 (IST)

Visual of food trucks at Azad Maidan

Image courtesy: Sachin Gokhale







09:26 (IST)

BMC installs toilets, water tankers at Azad Maidan

The Mumbai civic body on Sunday stated that it will provide 20 mobile toilets at Azad Maidan, which will be increased at night time to 40 toilets. Furthermore, four water tankers will be put in place at the ground. Pay toilets near Azad Maidan and Mantralaya have been instructed to provide free services for two days.







09:19 (IST)

Security beefed up around Maharashtra Assembly

Security around the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai has been tightened as the AIKS-led farmers’ march reached Azad Maidan on Monday morning, According to CNN-News18, tear gas shells have been kept ready. Though a Bombay High Court order restricts any protests or marches near the Legislative Assembly House area, the farmers on Sunday seemed determined to carry out their march to the Vidhan Bhavan. 







09:14 (IST)

Sitaram Yechury calls farmers’ march a ‘fight for their rights’







09:12 (IST)

Why are the farmers protesting?

The farmers from Maharashtra want to press the state government to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. According to IANS, complete loan waiver and profit of 1.5 times input cost for all major agriculture commodities are some of the other major demands of the AIKS.

The agitating farmers are also demanding compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for the destruction of crops due to hailstorm and pink bollworm, allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers and implementation of Forest Rights Act.







09:02 (IST)

WATCH: Firstpost LIVE from Azad Maidan on the ongoing farmers’ protest in Mumbai







09:00 (IST)

RECAP: Shiv Sena, MNS extend support farmers’ protests

Apart from Shiv Sena, which is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, the march on Saturday received support from Raj Thackeray, who heads the rival Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Sena and MNS workers were on streets to welcome the farmers and extend logistical as well as moral support to the march. Eknath Shinde, senior Shiv Sena leader and minister in the state cabinet, welcomed the march in Thane. The opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party had backed the march from the very beginning.







08:59 (IST)

Protesters not be allowed beyond Azad Maidan, say govt sources

According to NDTV, government sources said protesters will not be allowed to proceed to Vidhan Bhavan beyond Azad Maidan to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Only a delegation of farmer leaders from the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) will be allowed to meet Fadnavis around noon. The Left-affiliated peasant organisation, which is leading the protests, said they are open to consider what the government offers them. 







08:47 (IST)

WATCH: ‘Came here in protest so that future generations can benefit’, says tribal farmer from Nashik

​Sakhubai, a tribal farmer from Nashik, said that the Maharashtra government has only given assurances for several years over farm loan waiver, allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers etc. She also said that she receives around Rs 2 per kilogram for the crops she produces, whereas the market price of buying other products is much higher, making her sustenance impossible.

Having walked for more than 180 kilometres to Mumbai, Sakhubai initially did not want any medical treatment saying she did not want anything from the government. However, due the condition of her feet, people forced her to visit the medical camp set up at Azad Maidan. “I’m walked here for the future generations. I am old but hopefully things will change for posterity,” she said. 

Input from Sanjay Sawant and Sachin Gokhale







08:39 (IST)

WATCH: Food distributed among farmers camped at Azad Maidan

Video courtesy: Sachin Gokhale







08:34 (IST)

RECAP: Farmers decide to walk to Azad Maidan overnight to avoid inconveniencing students appearing for SSC exams on Monday 







08:22 (IST)

Shiv Sena to disrupt Assembly over farmers’ protests

The Shiv Sena said they are not going to let the state Assembly function on Monday until the farmers’ demands are met. 







08:17 (IST)

Farmers dehydrated, suffering from blood pressure, diarrhea

Maharashtra farmers, who have now reached Azad Maidan after walking overnight from KJ Somaiyya ground in Sion, are reportedly dehydrated from travelling in the scorching sun for 30 kilometres on Sunday in Mumbai. There is a medical dispensary set up at Azad Maidan. Doctors who spoke to CNN-News18, said farmers were suffering from blood pressure and diarrhea. 

Image courtesy: Sanjay Sawant







08:07 (IST)

Latest visuals from Azad Maidan







07:59 (IST)

Traffic movement to be normal like any other day







07:58 (IST)

’80-90% of demands will be fulfilled’

Speaking to CNN-News18, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ representative, Giriraj Mahajan said that nearly 80 to 90 percent of the farmers’ demand will be fulfilled. 







07:51 (IST)

No roads closed or traffic diversion due to farmers’ morcha, says Mumbai traffic police

Speaking to ANI, Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said that there are no roads closed or diverted due to the ongoing farmers’ protest in Mumbai. The protesting farmers are currently at Azad Maidan and set to head for the state Assembly today. 







07:41 (IST)

RECAP: Congress Rajya Sabha MP Husain Dalwai, PWP MLC Jayant Patil visit farmers in Sion

Input from Sanjay Sawant







07:32 (IST)

RECAP: Visual of farmers resting at KJ Somaiyya ground in Sion on Sunday







07:19 (IST)

Devendra Fadnavis appoints six-member committee

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis appointed a six-member committee comprising BJP and Shiv Sena leaders to discuss the farmers’ demands. The BJP members on the panel are Chandrakant Patil, Subhash Deshmukh, Pandurang Fundkar, Girish Mahajan, Vishnu Savra and one Shiv Sena MSRDC minister, Eknath Shinde.

Input from Sanjay Sawant







07:18 (IST)

Water resources minister Girish Mahajan welcomes morcha

On Monday early morning at 3.30 am, water resources minister Girish Mahajan once again welcomed the farmers’ march at Lower Parel. He reportedly walked from with the farmers till they reached the Azad Maidan at 5.10 am. 

Input from Sanjay Sawant







07:12 (IST)

Devendra Fadnavis likely to meet farmers at noon

According to CNN-News18, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will likely meet the protesting farmers at noon on Monday. 

The farmers are expected to march to the Vidhan Bhavan at 9 am on Monday to press the government to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. According to IANS, complete loan waiver and profit of 1.5 times input cost for all major agriculture commodities are some of the other major demands of the AIKS.

The agitating farmers are also demanding compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre for the destruction of crops due to hailstorm and pink bollworm, allocation of forest land under cultivation to farmers and implementation of Forest Rights Act.







07:10 (IST)

Farmers’ march from KJ Somaiyya grounds in Sion resumed at 2 am

The All India Kisan Sabha farmers resumed their march from the Somaiyya grounds at 2 am on Monday. “We don’t want to create a problem for exam going students of 10th standard. We don’t mind suffering more but we don’t want our student to suffer,” AIKS president Ashok Dhawale told Firstpost. 

Input from Sanjay Sawant

Mumbai farmers’ protest latest updates: Exhausted from walking from for nearly a week over 180 kilometres, farmers on Monday remained tireless in their efforts to achieve what they came for. Speaking to Hindustan Times, a farmer from Beed, Parshuram Gaikwad said, “We will not move from the state legislature building until our demands are met.”

Responding to Fadnavis’ claim that 95 percent of the protesters are tribals and thus, not farmers technically, All India Kisan Sabha leaders said that it was an attempt on the part of the government to discredit the protests, reported CNN-News18. 

Ruckus ensued in the Maharashtra Assembly on Monday morning ahead of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis meeting with the AIKS leaders at 1 pm. Security has been heightened to ensure there is no untoward incident.

In a first reaction since the farmers protest began, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said that the farmers’ problem was not just restricted to Maharashtra, it panned across India. ANI quoted Rahul as saying: “This is not an issue of Maharashtra farmers alone but of farmers all over India.”

Speaking to Firstpost, doctors at Azad Maidan, Mumbai said that most farmers complained of vomitting, body ache, blistered feet, leg pain, after having walked for more than 180 kilometres from Nashik.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is expected to meet the farmer leaders at the Vidhan Bhavan at 11.30 am on Monday. The city police has made heavy security arrangements to ensure there is no untoward incident.

The representatives of the Maharashtra farmers morcha led by All India Kishan Sabha (AIKS) are set to meet Chief Minister Devender Fadnavis at 11.30 am. According to News18, the farmers will take a call after the meeting on whether to march towards the state Assembly or not.

Security around the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai has been tightened as the AIKS-led farmers’ march reached Azad Maidan on Monday morning, According to CNN-News18, tear gas shells have been kept ready.

Government sources said protesters will not be allowed to proceed to Vidhan Bhavan beyond Azad Maidan to meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Only a delegation of farmer leaders from the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) will be allowed to meet Fadnavis around noon.

Maharashtra farmers, who have now reached Azad Maidan after walking overnight from KJ Somaiyya ground in Sion, are reportedly dehydrated from travelling in the scorching sun for 30 kilometres on Sunday in Mumbai. Doctors who spoke to CNN-News18, said farmers were suffering from blood pressure and diarrhea.

Speaking to ANI, Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said that there are no roads closed or diverted due to the ongoing farmers’ protest in Mumbai. The police also cautioned travellers to not believe in rumours, on its Twitter handle.

According to CNN-News18, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will likely meet the protesting farmers at noon on Monday. The farmers are expected to march to the Vidhan Bhavan at 9 am on Monday to press the government to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission. According to IANS, complete loan waiver and profit of 1.5 times input cost for all major agriculture commodities are some of the other major demands of the AIKS.

Over 35,000 farmers from across Maharashtra, who embarked on a `Long March’ from Nashik on 6 March to press their various demands, arrived in Mumbai on Sunday. By 5.10 am on Monday morning, they reached Azad Maidan, walking through the night.

Apart from opposition parties, Shiv Sena, a partner in the ruling BJP-led coalition, too has vocally supported the agitation.

The government reached out to farmers, promising to meet their demands, but farmers’ leaders said they will press on with Monday’s protest at the Vidhan Bhavan (Legislature Complex).

The farmers, led by Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), are demanding, among other things, proper implementation of the Maharashtra government’s loan waiver scheme.

Braving scorching heat, they have covered around 180 kilometres on foot in six days.

Farmers of All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS) march from Nashik to Mumbai to gherao Vidhan Bhawan on March 12, demanding a loan waiver, in Thane on Saturday. PTI

Farmers of All Indian Kisan Sabha (AIKS) march from Nashik to Mumbai to gherao Vidhan Bhawan on March 12, demanding a loan waiver, in Thane on Saturday. PTI

The protesters halted at the Somaiya ground in suburban Chunabhatti on Sunday night, and will set out for Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai, where the Budget session is underway, on Monday.

“We will gherao (lay siege to) the Vidhan Bhavan (on Monday) to demand a complete loan waiver, fair price for farm produce, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, compensation for hailstorm-affected farmers among other things,” Kisan Gujar, president of the state council of AIKS, said.

“(On Sunday) our number is over 35,000. Over 20,000 farmers from other parts of the state will join (on Monday),” he said, adding the farmers were also protesting against land acquisition for projects such as high-speed railway and super-highways.

“Though we have been approached by the government officials advising us not to stay near the Vidhan Bhavan for long, everything will depend on how the government deals with our demands,” Gujar told PTI.

From the government’s side, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is also guardian minister for Nashik district, met farmers’ leaders in Mulund as the march entered Mumbai, and assured that most of their demands will be met.

“The chief minister (Devendra Fadnavis) has sent me to meet you. Most of your demands will be met. We will take a delegation to the chief minister,” Mahajan said, addressing the protesters.

Senior BJP leader and Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar also assured that the chief minister will meet the protestors’ delegation, and blamed the “apathetic” approach of past governments for the farmers’ woes.

“Our government is committed to address all the grievances of farmers, which have accumulated due to the apathetic approach of the last several years…We are very sensitive towards farmers and two ministers (Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Savara and Mahajan) have already been asked to look into their demands,” Mungantiwar told PTI.

Ajit Navale of the AIKS, however, dismissed the overture. “The days of living on assurances have passed. Unless the government gives us something concrete, commits itself in writing, we will march towards the Vidhan Bhavan,” he said.

Senior Shiv Sena leder and cabinet minister Eknath Shinde and Yuva Sena (Shiv Sena’s youth wing) chief Aditya Thackeray also greeted the protesters in suburban Vikhroli.

Thackeray said the Shiv Sena stood “shoulder to shoulder” with farmers in their struggle.

It was wrong to say that farmers were demanding loan waiver, as they are not criminals that they should need a `waiver’, Aditya said, adding “farmers are fighting for `freedom from debt’.”

As so many farmers have marched to Mumbai despite the government’s grand loan waiver, Sena leaders have demanded to see the list of actual beneficiaries of the scheme, he said.

Opposition Congress, NCP, Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and AAP, as well as ruling ally Shiv Sena have extended support to the farmers’ march.

Patidar leader from Gujarat Nikhil Sawani, who joined the march, said his community supported the protesters.

As the march reached suburban Vikhroli, the phalanx of farmers — comprising both men and women — extended for almost three kilometres.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti said that adequate security arrangements had been made.

With inputs from PTI

Published Date: Mar 12, 2018 12:35 PM
| Updated Date: Mar 12, 2018 12:36 PM

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