Friday, April 21, 2017

In midnight swoop, Vidarbha farmers' families "removed" off Modi's hometown, leader nabbed in North Gujarat

By Our Representative
Maharashtra’s maverick MLA Bacchu Kadu, who was set free from South Gujarat after being detained on Thursday at inter-state borders, was again nabbed by the Gujarat police off Mahsana, as he was proceeding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown Vadnagar to stage his protest against the plight of Vidarbha region farmers.
Kadu, who began his Nagpur to Vadnagar yatra on April 11, was to reach his destination on April 21, where he had planned to organize a blood donation protest. Representing Amravati as an independent, he proposed to send a message to Modi that farmers were “willing to give their blood if he spared their lives.”
According to local sources in South Gujarat, most of the 1,400 farmers, 1,000 of them from Maharashtra and the rest from Gujarat, were detained and set free along with Kadu. While the farmers were told to return to their respective villages, Kadu, accompanied by a dozen supporters, decided to continue his planned protest.
After reaching Ahmedabad on Friday morning, where Kadu met Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG) leader Sagar Rabari, Kadu, accompanied by his colleagues in three vehicles, proceeded to Vadnagar via the highway leading to Mehsana.
“Kadu and his team were stopped at Mevad toll plaza and detained”, Sagar Rabari, who received a message from Kadu, told Counterview, adding, “They had decided to first go to Mehsana, donate blood, and then go to Vadnagar, there is no blood donation facility. They were adamant to declare their protest in Vadnagar.”
In a related development, about 200 family members of the Vidarbha farmers who had committed suicide, and who had reached Vadnagar by rail or buses to register their protest, were removed from the vicinity of Modi’s hometown on the wee hours on Friday. Many of those who were “removed” were women.
“Staying put in a private party plot of a farmer off Vadnagar, where arrangements were made for them to live overnight, they were all herded into two buses early at around 2.30 am, and were left at Ahmedabad railway station to proceed to Maharashtra”, Rabari said.
Called Aasood Yatra under the auspices of Kadu’s farmers’ organization, Prahar, “the rally, which began in Nagpur, the home town of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, did not face any such hurdles in his state”, said Rabari.
The Nagpur to Vadnagar rally consisted of hundreds of whip wielding farmers of Vidarbha. The rally was allowed to pass through Sukhpur, the last village in Maharashtra along the border with Gujarat, before it was stopped by the Gujarat police.
The rally was called Aasood, which in Marathi means whip – whose idea was taken from top Maharashtra social reformer Jyotiba Phule’s novel 'Shetkaricha Aasood', which is based on the theme that the farmer should use the whip not only on the bullocks he mends but also on the oppressors.
Passing through Wardha, the rally traversed through Yavatmal and Nanded. It covered Latur, Osmanabad, Solapur and later via Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Pune, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Nashik, Dhule and Nandurbar, before it reached the border with Gujarat, where it was first prevented, as it wanted to proceed towards Vadnagar via Ahmedabad.

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