Farmers’ body threatens ‘jail bharo’ on Mar 18

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Bhubaneswar: After holding a massive rally in the city on Thursday where thousands of farmers from across Odisha congregated, Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) has threatened to resort to ‘jail bharo’ agitation on March 18 if the demands of the farmers are not met within a month.

NKS convener Askhaya Kumar said, “On March 18, we will sit on a hunger strike and later stage a ‘jail bharo’ agitation.”

Earlier in the day, the Food Supply minister Sanjay Dasburma had a discussion with a delegation of the NKS at the Secretariat here over the demands of the farmers’ body. But nothing came out of it.

“Until the State government implements the demands, how it can be said the talks were fruitful,?” asked Kumar, who was part of the delegation that discussed with the minister in the presence of senior officials of Agriculture, Cooperative and Supply departments.

After the meeting, Dasburma told media persons, “The State government is considering the demands of the farmers’ body and we are aware of their issues. Today, I directed the Principal Secretary of Agriculture department to form a committee at the RDC level to look into the issues.”

The farmers’ body has been demanding implementation of pension scheme for farmers, payment of compensation to the kin of farmers who committed suicide, higher minimum support price, better procurement facilities, better social accord and drought compensation, among others.

In a related development, a farmer, identified as Birkishore Biswal of Salepur, died during the padyatra from Cuttack. The NKS placed a demand before the State government for compensation to the kin of Biswal.

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