The Kisan Mukti Yatra marches were stopped by the BJP led Madhya Pradesh government on Thurday. The Yatra demanded loan waivers for farmers and the minimum support price (MSP) for agricultural produce to be enhanced to 50% more than the input cost, interest-free agricultural credit, withdrawal of the ordinance restricting cattle trade, and Rs 5000 pension for farmers above the age of 60. The march flagged off from Mandsaur, the place where five farmers shot dead in police firing a month ago. The Kisan leaders also announced that a memorial for the Mandsaur martyrs will be built within an year.
The Yatra is being organized by of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee which has representatives from more than 150 farmers’ organisations from all over the country.
On Thursday, the police arrested more than 350 marchers including women and leaders from different farmers’ group. All India Kisan Sabha General Secretary Hannan Mollah, CPI (M) leader Subhashini Ali, Convenor of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan V M Singh, Social activist Medha Patkar, Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghathan's founder Raju Shetty were among the arrested activists.
According to the press note released by Coordination Committee, leaders from all over the country assembled in Pipliya Mandi to join the Yatra along with hundreds of farmers and supporters. “The peaceful Yatra was stopped by Madhya Pradesh Police and were not allowed to proceed further. Hundreds of people participating in the Yatra were detained including women, youth, children, senior citizens and farmer's leaders from many states including V M Singh, Hannan Mollah, Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav, Raju Shetty, Umesh Tiwari, Aradhna Bhargava and many others”, the press note said.
CPI (M) state secretary Badal Saroj said: "The Yatra, which began from Bhudha village, has been halted at Guddeli village. These people were going to Peepli Mandi where farmers were killed in police firing."
The Yatra which is scheduled to conclude in Delhi on 18 July will go through different states.
“From Madhya Pradesh, this Yatra will go through Maharashtra and Gujarat to reach New Delhi on July 18, where a tribute will be paid to the six farmers killed in Mandsaur”, AIKS Madhya Pradesh state secretary Jaswinder Singh said.
Earlier, Sunilam the main organiser of the Madhya Pradesh leg of Kisan Mukti Yatra was arrested hours before the yatra started.
"The arrest is a reflection of BJP government's desperation to muzzle the voice of farmers at any cost. It is the insensitivity of BJP towards farmers that has led the MP police to act in such an autocratic manner," a release issued by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee stated.