A number of farmers today courted arrest, while participating in a civil disobedience stir demanding pension for them and asking the government to admit farmers suicide due to crop loss and loan burden.
The farmers under the banner of Navanirman Krushak Sangathan (NKS), who were on dharna since 11 days, intensified their agitation by launching a civil disobedience stir to fulfil their two-point charter of demand.
The agitating farmers were prevented on the way to the state Assembly. As police tried to stop them, the farmers had a scuffle with the police. While some of the farmers fainted because of heat and exhaustion during the agitation, many others clashed with the cops. No injury has been reported from either side, police said.
Police Commissioner Y B Khurania said security has been beefed up around the area to avoid any untoward incident.
"We are the breadwinners for the state. This government, however, has failed us. Farmers have committed suicide and everyone knows this. The families of the deceased deserve compensation. This will only be possible, if the government acknowledges that they committed suicide. But, the government keeps denying it in order to hide its own failure. We will not back down anymore. Let them arrest us," said Sarojini Majhi, a farmer.
Though the ruling BJD leaders including MLAs Amar Satpathy and Sashi Bhusan Behera, had met the farmer leaders yesterday, they failed to convince the agitating farmers.
NKS state convener Akshay Kumar said talks with the government had failed as they didn't accept farmers demands.
The NKS has 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.