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Tamil Nadu farmers who protested at Jantar Mantar begin indefinite strike in Chennai

The agitators began their protest by paying homage to the farmers killed in police firing in Madhya Pradesh recently.

india Updated: Jun 09, 2017 23:15 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Chennai
Tamil Nadu,P Ayyakannu,Farmers strike
Chennai: Ayyakannu who along with several farmers staged a protest in New Delhi addresses protesters during the bandh call given by opposition parties in support of farmers issues, in Chennai, in this file photo from April.(PTI)

Close on the heels of farmers unrest in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, a group of cultivators led by P Ayyakannu, who had spearheaded a 40-day stir in New Delhi, launched an “indefinite” protest pressing for their charter of demands including comprehensive drought relief.

The agitators began their protest by paying homage to the farmers killed in police firing in Madhya Pradesh recently.

Raising slogans seeking justice for farmers, Ayakkanu emphasised that they faced a slew of problems and urged the government to look into their demands.

He hit out at the Tamil Nadu government for going against a recent Madras High Court directive asking it to extend farm loan waiver to all categories of farmers.

The government should immediately take steps to disburse comprehensive drought relief and stop dragging its feet on the issue, he told PTI.

Ayyakannu, president of National South Indian Rivers Inter-Linking Farmers Association, alleged that the farmers who had sold paddy to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore seven months ago at a regulated market at Chetpet in Tiruvannamalai district were yet to get paid, pushing them into a debt trap.

He had staged an unusual protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi before “temporarily” calling it off on April 23 after Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami ‘promised’ to meet their demands.

The farmers had then demanded a loan waiver, drought-relief package of Rs 40,000 crore and setting up of Cauvery Management Board.

The group led by Ayyakannu had protested by holding up human skulls outside the Prime Minister’s house, stripping naked outside the president’s and drinking urine.

While announcing the withdrawal of the protest then, they had threatened to resume the agitation in Delhi from May 25 if their demands were not met.

First Published: Jun 09, 2017 23:14 IST