Delhi Police stop farmers from drinking urine, protesters to meet Tamil Nadu CM
Tamil Nadu farmers protesting at Jantar Mantar, who had said they will drink their urine if the Centre did not pay heed to their demands, decided not to go ahead as per plan after they were advised by the police.delhi Updated: Apr 30, 2017 09:02 IST
Tamil Nadu farmers at Jantar Mantar did not go ahead with their plan to drink urine as announced on Friday. The farmers, who were advised by the police not to go ahead with the protest as planned, said they will meet Tamil Nadu chief minister on Sunday to discuss their demands.
The farmers, who have come to be known for their bizarre protests in the Capital, were unusually calm on Saturday morning. Camped at their protest site, with the skulls and urine bottles, the farmers looked clouded with uncertainty. Their leader, P Ayyakkannu, had been called in by the deputy commissioner of police, to discuss their proposed protest idea. Ayyakkannu later said that the DCP had advised them against drinking their own urine.
However, he said that they will collect the urine in a bucket and send it back to Tamil Nadu with a representative.
“We may not be allowed to drink the urine. But we are within our rights to collect it in a bucket... We did not get water or justice in Delhi (as the government has not formed a Cauvery Management Board, or paid heed to their other demands). So we will take our urine back home... We have no water there,” said P Ayyakkannu, the state president of the National South Indian Rivers Linking Farmers Association and the leader of the group of farmers at Jantar Mantar.
Two farmers however, sneaked a couple of sips in. “This is do or die. We know our health can get affected by drinking urine. But what are our choices?,” said one of the farmers who had chosen to take a sip of his own urine in protest.
Though the morning began on calm and uncertain terms, by afternoon the farmers tried to jump over barricades.
The farmers earlier promised to go a step further by eating faeces on Sunday if the government continued to ignore their demands. They now maintain that they will decide the future course of action after meeting with Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who is expected to visit the farmers on Sunday morning.
The farmers have been at Jantar Mantar for almost 40 days now, and have been asking the Centre to waive off their loans from nationalised banks, as the state government and the Madras High Court had done with the co-operative banks.
Their other demands also include revised drought relief packages, fixed profitable prices for their produce, interlinking of the rivers and the formation of a Cauvery Management Board. The farmers have suffered due to drought and subsequent cyclone.
The farmers have met multiple political leaders, including finance minister Arun Jaitley, water resources minister Uma Bharti, agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh, and others. They also met Pon Radhakrishnan, minister of state for road transport and highways, who is also the only elected BJP MP from Tamil Nadu.
The farmers had decided to “wait” for two days after meeting the MoS, as he had offered to talk to Jaitley on their behalf.
The minister had reportedly assured the farmers that he would talk to finance minister about their plight and try to come up with a solution by May 15. According to the farmers who met the minister, Radhakrishnan had said that he will try to get all loan collections and payments postponed for a year.
He had also assured the farmers that any attempt to seize property, will also be suspended during this time. Ayyakkannu said that the minister had assured them of help in getting new loans, but was non-committal on the other demands, like the interlinking of rivers and setting up of a Cauvery Management Board.
However, the farmers resumed their protest on Saturday, as they were not given any of the assurances in writing.
First Published: Apr 22, 2017 15:32 IST