Thousands of farmers have come out in protest and reached Mumbai. The protesters plan to gherao Maharashtra State Assembly and press them to meet their demands. The Maharashtra government has set up a six-member committee to look into the demands. The farmers' demand includes a full waiver of loans and power dues and the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee report.
The farmers had covered about 180 km on foot for over five days and arrived from across the state to Mumbai and are gathered at Azad Maidan.
Typically a protest of this scale would disrupt traffic and cause a lot of issues to commuters. But the farmers won people’s hearts by reaching the Azad Maidan ground by 7 am this morning. They did not wish to inconvenience commuters during rush hours, especially students who are due to have their Board exams.
According to the farmers, the state has seen a rapid growth but they have been left out of it. The protesters also want tribal farmers to be allowed to own land. Besides loan waivers, they also want to be paid one and a half times the cost of their crops. The group is being led by a national farmer's organisation that is affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Several Mumbaikars were reportedly supporting the protesters with many handing out food items and drinks. A number of Bollywood celebrities too have come out in support.