Mumbai, usually an epicenter of trade union activities in early 60s is slowly turning into a farmers hub with thousands of agricultural labourers entering the city giving much headache for authorities controlling the law and order. It is to be seen how the nearly 50,,000 crowd of farmers behave when they march to the city's capital on Monday morning to gherao the vidhan Sabha.
They walked almost 200 km for last five days from Nashik district to reach the Thane-Mumbai border on Sunday before heading for the KJ Somaiya Ground in Sion. The traffic police say they are prepared and have also issued a traffic advisory to avoid jams in the city. Elaborate security arrangements are also in place, police said.
The farmers contingent plans to reach Vidhan Sabha by noon without much disturbance to school and college going students appearing for examinations. The gherao is to press their demands for complete loan waiver and transfer of adivasi land to farmers who have been tilling it for years. The adivasis, who have joined the movement in huge numbers, say it is a matter of life and death.
Meanwhile ,Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan today assured a delegation of farmers that he would take their demands to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The organisers have promised a peaceful protest and said that people of Mumbai will not be inconvenienced. "We started with 25,000 and today our strength touched the 50,000 mark. It will swell further tomorrow, but it will not disturb the city. We will begin our rally after 11 am so that students appearing for their Class 10 board exam don't face any difficulties,"
The farmers began their arduous march on Tuesday evening from Nashik Their numbers swelled along the way. They survived on sparse meals, made brief halts and slept under the open sky. They resumed their march before the sun was up and didn't stop before noon.
So far, no law and order problem is reported but it is to be seen whether the government will allow them to reach near the Vidhan Sabha on Monday.