Biggest Loan Waiver, Says Maha CM, as Farmers’ Stir Enters 6th Day

27-year-old Navnath Bhalerao ended his life by consuming a poisonous chemical after protesting for a whole day.

2 min read
Police detain NCP farmers during a protest as part of their Maharashtra bandh over various demands, in Nagpur on Monday. (Photo: PTI)

As the farmers' strike in Maharashtra entered the sixth day on Tuesday, two farmers in Yeola tehsil of Nashik district, where the agitation is intense, committed suicide, police said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government would write off farm loans in the biggest such waiver ever in the state, but the promise had little impact on the farmers' strike, which entered its sixth day today.

Fadnavis, who said the government would announce the loan waiver before 31 October, added that the modalities were being worked out.

About 1.07 crore farmers with less than five acres of land would be eligible for the waiver.

I can say with conviction that this will be the biggest loan waiver in Maharashtra’s history.

27-year-old Navnath Changdev Bhalerao, resident of Pimpri village in the district, ended his life by consuming a poisonous chemical after protesting for a whole day, said a local police officer.

In a separate incident, another farmer, 40-year-old Gorakh Savaliram Kokane, resident of Waki Budruk in Chandvad tehsil of Nashik district, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his house.

Farmers who have been agitating since 1 June to press for loan waivers, higher minimum support prices and other benefits, continued with the stir, despite the government announcing its loan waiver for marginal farmers on Saturday.

As the agitation continued in Nashik district, police have prohibited assembly of people in public places under CrPC section 144 till 19 June.

All 17 agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) and 20 sub-APMCs in the district remained closed on Tuesday too, and onion auctions couldn't take place, said Jaidutta Holkar, chairman of Lasalgaon APMC.

The agitation continued in the district with several vehicles carrying vegetables to Mumbai stopped by protesters.

Protesting farmers also locked down the office of talathi (village revenue officer) at Naitale in Nifad tehsil.

Vegetable-carrying trucks, heading for Mumbai, faced protesters in the neighbouring Ahmednagar district too.

A couple of trucks carrying vegetables and flowers were stopped late at night. Protesters punctured the wheels of a milk tanker, and in some places, police used lathi-charge to disperse the mobs, said an officer.

Farmers' groups tried to lock down government offices in Manvat (Parbhani district), Satara, Nanded, Kolhapur and Sangli districts.

Major dairies such as Gokul and Warna in Kolhapur district continued milk collection. These two dairies are major suppliers of packaged milk to Mumbai.

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