Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jagatsinghpur, Nov 23:
Less than a week after holding a massive rally in Jajpur, thousands of farmers of Odisha — under the banner of Nabanirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) – today staged a massive ‘Jai Kishan Samavesh’ in Jagatsinghpur reiterating their demands of price, prestige and pension.
The farmers took out the rally from the Gandhi square in the town that culminated in front of the collector’s office. The leaders, later, submitted a memorandum to the sub collector.
“We demand an impartial enquiry to the suicide of over 200 farmers and urge the government to disburse the dues of the farmers within next seven days. The farmers of the state will be forced to take to the streets, if the government doesn’t act,” said Advisor of NKS Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.
“We demand a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 for the farmers of the state. We call upon the government to allocate Rs 21,600 crore as pension for 36 lakh farmers of the state during the next budget. As many as 1,00,000 – 1,50,000 farmers will assemble in Bhubaneswar on December 14 to press for their demand, if the government fails to act on our demands,” said NKS State Coordinator Akshay Kumar.
It may be noted here that the farmers have long been demanding payment of compensation to the families of farmers that committed suicide, provision of Rs 5,000 pension for farmers, better procurement facilities, higher minimum support price, better social recognition and drought compensation.
Besides, they have also been demanding better irrigation facilities, establishment of cold storages in all 314 blocks, refund of sack price after paddy procurement and justice for farmers allegedly exploited by Shakti Sugar mills among others.