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Saturday
September 2018
2:42 AM IST
News Headlines
Let the boundaries go away: Pakistani youth sings Jana Gana Mana with full respect        Three kidnapped cops killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir        Freak penne trending with dislikes and trolls        Kannur International Airport: Kerala to be the first state with four international airports        Kim, Moon join hands on peak of sacred North Korean volcano        Birthday boy Rashid stars in Afghanistan's 136-run win against Bangladesh        Shahbaz Nadeem claims eight wickets; breaks List A world record        CAT 2018: Registration extended to Sept 26; Admit card to Release on Oct 24        BAI distributes 1.6 crore to state Association        Rodrigues, Yadav help Indian women take 1-0 lead in T20 series        Sensex recovers over 100 points on value-buying, global cues        Deepak Kapoor Appointed the new Chairperson of Save the Children        Palestinian schools strive to modernize classrooms        Trump: Declassified Russia probe papers expose 'bad things'        2 history-sheeters arrested following encounter: Police        Attack on Cong workers in Chhattisgarh is political persecution: Rahul Gandhi        Cabinet clears ordinance to make triple talaq penal offence Law Minister        Instant Triple Talaq to be criminal offence        Viswasam- On set photos leaked        Aiswarya- Abhishek's Gulab Jamun would go on floor in mid 2019        
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National News
Farmers' stir: Under-pressure Maha govt accepts demands
 
(Mumbai, Mar 13, 2018): Under pressure from the opposition and ally Shiv Sena, the BJP-led Maharashtra government today accepted the demands of agitating farmers, including their right to till forest land, as thousands of agriculturists converged here in a sea of red.

In a major victory for the farmers who trekked 180 km from Nashik to here over six days under the blazing sun, some even barefooted, the state's Revenue Minister Chandrakant patil said their "all demands" are being accepted.

He was addressing farmers camping at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai in the presence of CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

Talking to reporters outside Vidhan Bhawan, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "We have agreed to set up a committee to hand over forest land used for farming, to tribals and farmers."

"A meeting was held with representatives of farmers and adivasis at Vidhan Bhawan today. We have agreed to set up a committee to allot agricultural land to tribals provided they submit a proof of pre-2005 land cultivation. We have accepted almost all their demands," Fadnavis said.

Earlier in the day, Fadnavis, who was under intense pressure to concede the demands of farmers, had said his government was "sensitive and positive" towards their issues.

"Around 90 to 95 per cent of the participants are poor tribals. They are fighting for forest land rights. They are landless and can't do farming. The government is sensitive and positive towards their demands," he told the state Assembly during a discussion on the 'Long March' of agriculturists.

Several parts of Maharashtra frequently face drought, and suicides due to rural indebtedness is common.

"A ministerial committee has been formed to discuss the demands with protesters. We will take a decision to resolve their issues in a time-bound manner," he said.

The Azad Maidan turned into a sea of red today as farmers carrying red flags descended there.

The CPI(M)-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha led the protest, where farmers demanded an unconditional loan waiver, and transfer of forest land to tribal farmers who have been tilling it for years.

The farmers were also agitating against non-implementation of the Swaminathan Committee recommendation for fixing the minimum support price at one-and-a-half times the cost of production, and the Forest Rights Act, CPI-M leader Ashok Dhawle said.

The farmers were also demanding a change in the plan to link rivers in Nashik, Thane and Palghar districts so as to ensure that tribal lands are not submerged and water from the scheme is made available to these areas and other drought-prone districts.

They were also protesting against the state government's land acquisition for projects, including high-speed railway and super highways.

The opposition Congress, NCP, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena and also Shiv Sena, which is part of the BJP-led ruling coalitions in the state and at the Centre, had extended support to the farmers.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray met the farmers yesterday.

The Shiv Sena, BJP's ruling alliance partner, threw its weight behind the farmers, saying that irrespective of their red flags the party would back them in getting their problems resolved.

In November last year, the state government announced a farm loan waiver, terming it the "biggest in Maharashtra's history".

The Mumbai police had heightened security following apprehension of breach of peace during the agitation.

As the farmers braved the sultry weather, the city's famed 'dabbawalas' known for delivering tiffins to lakhs of Mumbaikars with clockwork precision, offered them food and water.

Subhash Talekar, the spokesperson of Mumbai Dabbawala Association, said, "We thought about helping the farmers with food as they are our food-providers and have come from remote parts of the state."

A jubilant Yechury described farmers as the "new soldiers of India" who can "uproot governments" if they do not accept their demands.

As a resolution appeared in sight following their gruelling six-day journey, the farmers prepared to return home.

The authorities announced that they would be ferried back to Nashik. The Central Railway has decided to run a special train from Mumbai to Bhusawal, an official said.(PTI)


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INTERNATIONAL NEWS
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