Mumbai: Minor incidents of violence marred the start of an unprecedented ‘indefinite strike’ by over half a million farmers in Maharashtra in support of various demands including the long-pending loan waiver package, here on Thursday.
Striking farmers, who had warned they would not indulge in any farming activity, including sowing for the upcoming kharif season, resorted to the agitation after talks with the Maharashtra government failed on Tuesday.
Stray incidents of violence were reported from some parts including Nashik, Satara and Pune where aggressive farmers emptied tankers of several tonnes of fresh milk being transported to the cities and destroyed stocks of fresh vegetables being taken to the markets.
In another incident near Satara, the driver of a milk tanker was roughed up by some farmers and prevented from proceeding to his destination. Stones were also pelted at some police vehicles near Nashik.
The strike has elicited “good response” from farmers all over the state, except from agriculturists in the coastal Konkan, who are not part of the agitation.
Movement of agricultural goods has been restricted since midnight.
Most APMC markets wore a desolate look as farmers, traders, head-loaders, transporters and other officials virtually kept off.