Maharashtra: ‘Rasta rokos’ in Karad, Kolhapur; farmers detained


At least 40 protesters, including senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan’s wife Satvasheela Chavan and farmers, were detained by the police.

‘Rasta rokos’ were staged in Karad and Kolhapur cities in Maharashtra on Saturday as part of the ‘chakka jam’ protest called by farmer bodies agitating at borders of New Delhi against the three new farm laws.

At least 40 protesters, including senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan’s wife Satvasheela Chavan and farmers, were detained by the police for holding the protest on a busy road at Kolhapur Naka in Karad in western Maharashtra this afternoon, a police official said.

They were detained under sections 68 and 69 of the Mumbai Police Act and released, he said.

As per farmer unions, the ‘chakka jam’ includes blocking national and state highways between 12 noon and 3 pm o protest the internet ban in areas near their agitation sites, harassment allegedly meted out to them by authorities, and other issues.

In Kolhapur city, also in western Maharashtra, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna leader Raju Shetti led a protest against the farm laws.

Shetti and some farmers were detained for staging a ‘rasta roko’ at Dabholkar Chowk in afternoon. They were released later, a local police official said.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh demanding the rollback of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.

However, the government has maintained that the laws will ensure better opportunities for farmers and bring in new technologies in agriculture.

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