Tamil Nadu farmers withdraw strike after assurance from state government

Faith Castro
June 12, 2017

The farmers led by the National South Indian Rivers InterLinking Farmers Association chief P Ayyakannu had staged a protest for 40 days at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to ask for various demands including comprehensive drought relief. On Friday, they launched the protest after paying homage to the farmers killed in police firing in Madhya Pradesh. However, the farmers have also said that they will restart the protest if their demands are not met within the given time frame.

The protest by farmers since yesterday for drought relief and loan waiver was today called off following an assurance given by Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami to look into their demands.

"Across the country, our brethren are being dealt with harshly", Mr. Ayyakannu said, adding that on June 16, farmer leaders from across the 29 States would gather at the Gandhi Peace Foundation in New Delhi to chart their future course of action.

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The Tamil Nadu farmers earlier withdrew their agitation after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami assured that he will take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to waive off the loan and urged the farmers to end their protest.

The farmers had then demanded loan waiver, drought relief package of Rs. 40,000 crore and setting up of the Cauvery Management Board.

Among the protesters were farmers from Chethupattu village in Tiruvannamalai district, who alleged that they were swindled by the State government agency that collects farm produce. Tamil Nadu witnessed one of the worst drought in 100 years and the livelihood of lakhs of farmers across the State was affected. "But now they have moved the Supreme Court", he said. "We will expand agitation all over India", Ayyakannu said.

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