Anti-Social Elements Blamed As Parts Of Rajasthan Feel The Heat Of ‘Successful’ AgitationA mandi in Mumbai. (Bachchan Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Supporting the ongoing ten-day Gaon Bandh called by Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, farmers in Rajasthan and other states continued to dump milk and vegetables on road. The body organising the agitation has called it "successful". The impact of the agitation was noticed in Rajasthan where disruptions like spilling of milk and vegetables on road led to vegetable prices shooting up to 25-30 per cent.

According to this report, Jaipur Dairy chairman Om Prakash Punia told PTI, “Jaipur Dairy alone has suffered a loss of nearly Rs 1 crore as ‘anti-social elements’ spilled nearly 60,000 litres of milk on roads. Twelve tankers were vandalised. Jaipur Dairy has lodged 8-9 FIRs for damaging and manhandling employees.” According to Punia, "problems are being witnessed in Sikar, Chomu, Kaladera and parts of Jaipur." Sections of farmers in Rajasthan have supported the 10-day Gaon Bandh (rural shutdown).

A report in the Times of India said, "Farmers in Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Jhunjhunu, Jaipur, Sikar, Bikaner and Nagaur spilled milk, vegetables on roads and highways. In some places like Chomu in Jaipur, farmers tried to forcefully shut the market." Santveer Singh, Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh member told the TOI, "The bandh was successful in northern Rajasthan."

The strike called by Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh is looking at an "immediate implementation" of Swaminathan committee report on minimum support prices for all produce, complete debt waiver and fixation of minimum income. The Hindu reported that the farmers’ body holding agitation in Rajasthan "has blamed 'anti-social elements' for spilling milk on roads."

Shiv Kumar Sharma, president of RKM, said, “Farmers’ plight continues despite India’s farm output having multiplied over seven decades. From an import-dependent country in the early '60s, India has become a net exporter of many agri commodities, with leadership position in many consumables. That has not come without farmers’ hard work. But, farmers have got little of the benefit of this revolution. We, therefore, have come on the street to mark our presence."

There were reports of farmers dumping vegetables, milk and other farm produce on roads from other states as well.

In Bajpur, Uttarakhand, agitating farmers stopped trucks of the Uttarakhand Cooperative Dairy Federation (UCDF). They spilled milk on the roads.

Business Standard reported that agitated farmers in Punjab poured "thousands of litres" of milk on the roads and stopped fruit and vegetable supplies to mandis." Cricketer-turned-Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu visited village Patto with Congress MLAs. Sidhu said, “If the country is to be saved then saving farm sector ought to be a priority.”

However, there were several instances of vandalism as farmers not supporting the agitation too were dragged into it by miscreants.

Meanwhile, Union Minister and senior leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Harsimrat Kaur Badal blamed the Congress for the current plight of farmers. "The current plight of farmers was mainly due to 70-years of misrule by the Congress party." She added that before talking about the agrarian crises in the country, the Congress should first address why farmers are committing suicide in Punjab. "before heading to transform the nation, please change small state Punjab so that people have some confidence that you can make a difference," Badal said.

Milk and vegetable supplies were hit in Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in the ongoing 10-day farmers agitation called by Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh.

"All farmer bodies are not part of the stir," the Business Standard said.

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