Bhopal/Mandsaur/Chandigarh: Protesting farmers dumped vegetables, milk and other farm produce on roads and blocked supplies to cities in several states on Friday as they launched a 10-day agitation to press their demands, including loan waiver and right price for crops.

Farmer organisations also called for boycott of mandis or wholesale markets in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, leading to fears of shortage and price rise. Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh (RKMM) convenor Shivkumar Sharma told reporters in Bhopal that the “Gaon Band’ stir is being held across 22 states.

Police have kept a close vigil in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, where six farmers were killed in police firing during the farmers’ agitation on June 6 last year. “The cultivators have been asked not to come to the markets in urban areas to sell their farm produce, including milk,” Sharma added.

Day 1 peaceful; 2 held for posting fake video

The first day of farmer’s strike passed off peacefully in the state on Friday. IG Makrand Deouskar said, “Two men in Ratlam posted a video on social media related to an old incident claiming it to be a current incident. We have booked and arrested them.”

Few farmers who came to sell their produce in cities had an hassle-free day. The police and the district administration were on alert to check any untoward situation. Sources said that 21 out of 51 districts, including districts in Ujjain and Indore divisions, are sensitive as far as farmers’ agitation is concerned. Farmer’s organisations blame the state government for the farmer’s agony.

The ten day farmer’s agitation that began on Friday would conclude on June 10th. Farmers, who are supporting the agitation, have announced that the supply of vegetables, milk and other produce to the cities will be cut off in these ten days.

Mixed response evoked

Ten-day farmer’s stir that began on Friday against the alleged anti-farmer policies evoked mixed response in the state. Although the agitation has not affected normal life in the state so far, the farmers blocked the supply of vegetables, fruits, milk and farm produce to various parts of the state.

Wholesale vegetable market in Bhopal, Sehore and Hoshangabad remained closed, however, it was a usual day at Mandis in Gwalior and Jabalpur district where no impact of the protest was seen. Protesting farmers blocked supply to cities. In many parts of the state supply of vegetables, milk was affected, due to which prices of green spiraled. In Indore, milk collection went down by 50 per cent.

In neighbouring Ujjain, there was no milk collection at all. Similarly, Mandsaur and Bhopal registered 30 per cent decline in milk collection. Neemuch, the adjoining district of Mandsaur, did not witness any shortage of vegetables and milk even as markets remained shut on the day.

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Free Press Journal