April 21st, 2017
The Tamil Nadu farmer protests in Jantar Mantar have been attracting huge police presence with the force helping the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) remove sheds and shelters of other protesters at the venue who have been inspired by the farmers’ protests. The police allege that no permission was acquired from the Corporation for such construction.
However, the police have only threatened to clear the protest sheds of farmers and could not remove them, as they were legally constructed.
The Tamil farmers who have been protesting for over a month, demanding to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asking the Centre for an aid of Rs 40,000 crore, have held their ground and decided not to move until their demands are met.
From wearing skulls, eating mice, conducting mock funerals, stripping at Raisina Hill, to even getting whipped by a man dressed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi – the farmers have tried everything to get the Centre’s attention.
Prashant Bhushan extends support
Swaraj Abhiyan president and activist Prashant Bhushan extended his support to the Tamil Nadu farmers on Thursday.
“It is absolutely clear that there has been a terrible drought in Tamil Nadu and the state’s farmers are in a pathetic situation. Unfortunately, the central government has been completely apathetic to them and has hardly released any funds for drought relief which is their legal obligation. Since more than a year, we have a PIL pending in the Supreme Court which gives various directions to the central and the state governments for drought relief. Providing additional food under the Food Security Act, providing funds under the Rural Employment Guarantee Act, crop loss compensation, restructuring of loans – are some of the provisions mentioned in the petition, but none of this has been extended to the Tamil Nadu farmers,” Mr Bhushan told The Logical Indian when asked why he has decided to support the farmers.
The activist has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking to make Tamil Nadu a party to the ongoing PIL that would extend to Tamil Nadu all reliefs demanded by the 10 other drought-hit states during 2015-16. The case will be up for hearing on April 26.
He also said that in solidarity with the farmers, Swaraj Abhiyan would conduct a yatra in the drought-affected areas of Tamil Nadu to take up on-spot survey, as reported by Business Standard.
There are barely 100 farmers left protesting in Delhi, however, they are ready to take any measures to convince the centre for the relief. “We will resort to eating our own faeces and drink our own urine,” said the farmers, adding that the protests will continue until their death.