Bhubaneswar: Navanirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) on Tuesday intensified its agitation with over a thousand farmers from across Odisha, accompanied by activists of Krushak Chhatra Sangathan and several voluntary organisations, beginning a civil disobedience movement by taking out a huge rally from Master Canteen Square here towards the State Assembly.
On their way to the State Assembly from Master Canteen Square, NKS activists were detained by the police near Idcol auditorium. As police tried to stop them, they had a scuffle with the police. Following information, police commissioner YB Khurania rushed to the spot and pacified the agitators.
Talking to the media, senior journalist and NKS adviser Rabi Das said; “Farmers across the state had staged a dharna for the last 11 days demanding social security pension and the right price for their produce. Today they have come to stage civil disobedience movement protesting the gross apathy of the state government and are ready to court arrest.”
NKS adviser and editor of ‘Sambad’ Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said the civil disobedience movement of the farmers today has been successful. “The state government has now come to know that the farmers have an association and it was bound to acknowledge its presence,” he said.
Taking a dig at the state government, an activist of Krushak Chhatra Sangathan said the government was not bothered about the suicide of nearly 200 farmers. Besides, it was not concerned about the NKS leader Akshaya Kumar, who is on fast since the last 12 days.
“The ruling party leaders had met us yesterday as they are afraid of our agitations. We demand social security pension of Rs 5000 to each farmer of the state,” he added.
Lashing out at the state government for its audacity in not admitting the suicide of the farmers, he said the students wing of the Krushak Sangathan has joined the NKS to wage a joint fight against the state government.
Talking to the media, a woman activist said it is a movement by the farmers to press for their legitimate demands.
Asked whether the agitation of the farmers’ body is justified, she asked the media persons “Don’t you have a feeling that the farmers have committed suicide? There is no question of justification on this ground. If the head of a family, who provides food to his members, commits suicide what would be the fate of the family? Our demands are justified. If the government will not fulfill our demands, we will forcefully take our demands from the government.