Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 16:
Odisha police last night arrested 14 members of Odisha farmers’ body Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS) following their May 12 gherao of collectors’ offices.
While nine farmers were arrested from Jagatsinghpur, five were arrested from Jajpur for locking down the offices of the respective collectors.
Reacting to the development, NKS State Coordinator Akshay Kumar alleged that the State Government is conspiring against the farmers.
“Our agitation is nothing new. We have been peacefully demonstrating across the state since past five years seeking price, prestige and pension for the farmers. The police crackdown is intended at scaring the farmers and breaking their unity. This is a conspiracy of the government,” alleged Akshay Kumar.
“We are not going to back down because of the arrests. We would continue to press for 4% allocation of the state budget for the benefit of the farmers. Further, the government has to accept the farmer suicides and provide Rs 10 lakh compensation to their families,” he added.
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 among others.