TN farmers' slap selves with slippers on fourth day
Tamil Nadu farmers escalated their agitation at Jantar Mantar here on its fourth day on Thursday by hitting themselves with their footwear as a 'punishment' for casting their votes for state legislators, who are said to be ignoring farmers issues.
According to the Tamil farmers, the state legislators are minting money while they are starving.
"We came all the way from Chennai and staging protest for the requirement of our basic demands without food and water but shockingly Tamil government legislator's remuneration has been raised to Rs 1.05 lakh," said R Sellaperumal Musri, a senior citizen farmer.
Due to drought, farmers are suffering to earn their livelihood while being buried under the debt from banks.
To ease the hardship, Tamil farmers are demanding drought relief package, farm loan waiver, pension for old farmers and to constitute the Cauvery Management Board.
"We feel cheated. Both state and central governments did not fulfill the promises they made to us. We want the Centre to ensure remunerative prices for agricultural produce and interlinking of rivers to solve the water problem," said P Ayyakannu, leading the protest.
He also stated that they had no option but to resume the protest. "Due to water crisis and drought in the state, farmers are under a huge financial burden. We are almost destroyed. We don't care if we die protesting here," said an agitating farmer.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had stayed order by the Madras High Court that had in April extended the loan waiver to all farmers, even though the scheme intended to help only small and marginal farmers with five acres of land. The Centre had moved the top court in May against the order.
All farmers and their associates have also been planning to conduct a meeting of all farmers from Maharashtra, Haryana, in Western UP under the banner of "All India Kisan Kamagar Mahasabha" by the end of the monsoon season, which will be regarding the rights and demands of farmers, and their miseries.