To mark the second round of agitation for loan waiver and a drought-relief package, the farmers from Tamil Nadu on Monday returned to Jantar Mantar after their 40-day protest in the national capital earlier this year. Around 50 farmers sat on the Jantar Mantar road shouting slogans. P Ayyakkannu, the leader of the group of farmers was quoted by PTI as saying that this time they are determined and would even dare to die, instead of being cheated. “Rain or sun, our agitation will not stop,” he said.
The farmers arrived in New Delhi on Sunday. They were detained by the police for protesting without permission near Lok Kalyan metro station (formerly called Race Course metro station). The farmers yesterday morning once again started their agitation as their demands were not met. As per the report, the farmers will join an indefinite protest after their counterparts, taking part in a ‘Kisan Mukti Yatra’, reach Jantar Mantar tomorrow. The farmers are demanding loan waivers, setting up of Cauvery Management Board, crop insurance for individual farmers and remunerative prices for their produce.
Yesterday, the Indian Express quoted Ayyakannu as saying, “We closed our agitation at Jantar Mantar on 23rd April on the request of Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami. He promised that within two months the Central government will help us. Now, 75 days are over. So far they have not taken any steps regarding writing off loans. Now they also are trying to sell our land in Tamil Nadu. That’s the reason we’ve come to fight here.” Ayyakannu said that no one from the police had tried to have any dialogue with them. The group of farmers had grabbed eyeballs earlier this year with their innovative, and at times increasingly desperate, modes of protest.