Tamil Nadu farmers protest: Protesting farmers in Tamil Nadu today condemned the killing of five farmers in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur even as they resumed their agitation in Chennai. Asking Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami to withdraw the case related to waiving off farmers’ loan in the Supreme Court, they demanded pension for peasants over 60 years. The farmers also threatened to launch a country wide protests if their demands were not met. They said that they will continue with their sit-in for 32 days. Alleging that 400 farmers had committed suicide in the state, they claimed the government gave compensation to 82 familes of deceased farmers. The CM assured us in Delhi that the state government would not challenge the Madras High Court verdict which they said had issued direction to waive off loans of all farmers, the farmers’ leader told CNN News18. He claimed that the state government had appealed in the apex court over the High Court verdict. He also demanded that CM Palaniswami must fulfill his promise.
Earlier, a group of farmers from the state had held an over a moth-long protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. The protest began on March 14. They had even stripped near South Block here to press for their demands. They were demanding a Rs-40,000 crore drought relief package, farm loan waiver and setting up of the Cauvery Management Board by the Centre. To grab eyeballs, they drank urine, shaved their heads and half their mustaches and kept mice and snakes in their mouths, conducted mock funerals, flogged themselves and even carried skulls of other farmers who had committed suicide due to debt pressure, according to PTI reports.
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On April 23, CM Palaniswami had met the farmers in Delhi and urged to call off their strike assuring them of taking up demands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, at least 56 people have been arrested and over 100 detained in connection with violence during the farmers agitation in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur. State Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had said that the five farmers had been killed in police firing, a remark that assumes significance as the authorities had earlier claimed the police did not fire during the protests, according to the agency report.