Bhubaneswar: The Nabanirman Krusak Sangathan (NKS) on Monday alleged there was a conspiracy behind the arrest of 14 of its members – nine in Jagatsinghpur and five in Jajpur – in a midnight operation on Sunday on charges of locking the office of the district Collector.
Akhsaya Kumar, Coordinator of the farmers’ body, said, “The arrest is a conspiracy against the farmers intended to break their morale.”
Kumar added, “We have been protesting for the past five years demanding price, prestige and pension for farmers. To press these demands, the farmers had marched from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar on February 17 and observed ‘jail bharo’ agitation on February 29.”
"We want allocation of 4% of the State Budget for the benefit of the farmers. Besides, the government should take responsibility for farmer suicide cases in the State and provide Rs 10 lakh compensation to families of the deceased. As a mark of protest, we locked the Collector office and wanted political parties to raise the issue in the Assembly. But at a high-level meeting, the government decided to suppress the voice of the agitating farmers and arrested 14 people in a midnight operation. Why did the police not arrest anyone when the farmers went to the police station asking the cops to arrest them?” asked Kumar.