Mumbai: Taking serious cognisance of the growing protests against Samruddhi corridor and proposed rasta roko (road blockade) on Mumbai-Agra National Highway in Shahapur on April 26, the police have detained over 70 farmers in Thane district.

Police have also filed FIRs against them at various police stations. Meanwhile, aiming to intensify the agitation, Hardik Patel, leader of Patidar community from Gujarat, may join the Rasta Roko protest.

An Action Committee against Samruddhi Corridor and Shetakri Kruti Samiti will hold a ‘Rasta Roko’ and ‘Jail Bharo’ agitation on April 26 on Mumbai-Agra National Highway at Shahapur in Thane district.

According to Baban Harne, convener of the committee, more than 25,000 farmers are expected to gather at Shahapur to join the agitation.

“These farmers will be from Thane, Sinnar-Nasik, Amravati and other parts of the state where corridor will pass through and farmers will be displaced in the project.”

Chandrakant Bhoir, leader of committee against the corridor, has been arrested by Kalyan police and an FIR has been filed against him. FIRs have been filed against 74 farmers, including women, too, in Bhiwandi police station. Show-cause notice has been issued to farmers by Sinnar police in Nasik district.

Meanwhile, Harne further said, the committee has contacted Hardik Patel and requested him to lead the agitation. “He was positive and may join us,” said Harne.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has shown keen interest in the agitation and asked his party leaders to collect information about the impact of the corridor on farmers.

However, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray who has assured to fight for the right of the farmers is nowhere now and is avoiding farmers’ leaders, Harne said.

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