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Farmers outfits in Karnataka protest “anti-farmer” policies

Farmers in Karnataka staged demonstrations across the state on Friday as part of a ”bandh” call given by several outfits to protest the ”anti-farmer” policies of the central and state governments. A large number of ryots from various parts of the state flocked to the state capital to take part in the protests against the amendments to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act and the Karnataka Land Reforms Act.

Amendment to APMC Act would allow farmers to sell their produce directly to any purchaser outside APMC or in other APMCs. The agitators blocked highways and staged road rokos in many places affecting the traffic flow. Terming the amendments as ”anti-farmer”, they alleged that some people in power brought them to convert their black money into white.

A group of farmers blocked the busy Tumakuru road near Yashwantpur in the city and engaged in sloganeering against the recent amendments. As the police arrived at the spot to clear the blockade, the farmers courted arrest and were taken away in buses. Demonstrations were also held in other districts, including Mysuru and Davangere.

In Mangaluru, workers of Congress, other non-BJP parties and farmers” outfits gathered at the Nanthoor circle in the morning and staged the blockade. A large number of police personnel were deployed at major junctions to avert any chock-a-block.

Peasant leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar, who is among those leading the agitation, said all the highways to Bengaluru will be blocked. He said more than 34 outfits have come together to stage agitations across the city. Shanthakumar alleged that the government did not take the farmers into confidence while bringing amendments to the law pertaining to the agriculture sector.

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