New Delhi: Farmers in many states remained aggrieved due to alleged anti-farmer provisions in the Land Acquisition Bill, 2015 among other reasons, contributing to violent protests by farmers doubling this year till June compared to the same period last year.
A report with the government says so, mentioning that the overall law and order situation in the agrarian sector has deteriorated this during the first half of this year and marked by a sharp increase to 74 incidents of protests and violent incidents resorted to by aggrieved farmers across the country compared to 37 such incidents in the first six months of 2014. While one person was killed each in both periods during such protests, only nine farmers were injured in such protests this year compared to 82 injured last year, the figures with the government show, indicating that though there had been more protests, the same had been less violent than last year.
A farmer in Gujarat was killed in one such protest this year while five were injured there in as many protests. Police had to resort to lathi-charge on 2 occasions this tear to control the unruly farmers while they resorted to the same on 6 occasions last year, the report says. Also, no policeman was injured in the farmer protests this year though compared to 26 policemen injured in such protests last year. The maximum protests this year were in BJP-ruled Maharashtra (17), Haryana (12), poll-bound Bihar (8), Punjab (6) and UP (5).
This is significant since the Modi government last month decided not to push ahead with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Act, 2015 and did not re-promulgate the ordinance in this regard after vehement protest from the opposition that the revised law being brought by the BJP was anti-farmer and pro-industry. The Land Ordinance was hence allowed to lapse on August 31, a move that restored the Act of 2013 that was passed during the UPA regime and the announcement comes amid apprehensions within BJP that the controversial Land Acquisition Bill may cost it dear in the forthcoming Bihar elections next month.
The report with the government cites four reasons for the rising farmer protests in many states till June – the alleged anti-farmer provisions of 2015 Land Acquisition Bill, non-fixation of Minimum Support Price of agricultural produces as per recommendations of the Dr Swaminathan Committee, non-payment of sugarcane arrears and inadequate supply of fertilizers and seeds. It says resentment over the issues has been mainly seen in states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, UP, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Courtesy: ET Bureau