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Farmers in Maharashtra begin two-day protest march

Thousands of farmers and tribals in Maharashtra began their two day protest march from Thane to Azad Maidan in Mumbai on 21 November. The farmers are protesting to fulfill their demand for compensation for the drought in the region, a compete waiver on farm loans and transfer of forest rights to the tribal community.  

The farmers have come from various parts of Maharashtra for the two-day march. They also demanded that the land tilled by the Adivasi farmers be written off in their name under the Forest Rights Act (FRA).  

The Lok Sangharsh Morcha (LSM) is leading the protest. Swaraj Abhiyan chief and former Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav and conservationist Dr Rajendra Singh will also be at the forefront of the protests. 

Earlier in March, around 50,000 farmers walked 180 km making the same demands. General Secretary of the Morcha, Pratibha Shinde, at a press conference said “Farmers across Maharashtra are reeling under insensitive and anti-farmer policies of the state government and therefore we have no option but to strike the government with farmers’ unity,”  

Protesters’ demands include time-bound implementation of Forest Rights Act, total loan waiver, stopping of displacement of tribal villages due to Nar-Par, Damanganga and Vagh Pinjal river linking projects, stopping of acquisition of land for the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway and bullet train, she said. 

 

She further added, “Our march will be peaceful and we will ensure that people in the city are not inconvenienced,” she said, adding, “Government’s loan waiver scheme has not given any relief to farmers.” 

Political parties such as the Janata Dal (S), Aam Aadmi Party and several NGOs are supporting the protest. 

 



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Krishi Jagran