90% fall in supply of staples to key APMCs across Maharashtra, 42 cases of violence registered

MUMBAI: With only 15% Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets across the state carrying out business on Friday , the intensity of the farmers’ strike increased manifold on Friday.

Data from 58 major APMCs in the state showed that the arrival of supplies in these markets had dipped by 90% on Friday as compared to Wednesday before the agitation began.

Nearly 5 lakh quintals of fruits and vegetables were brought to these markets on May 31, however the arrivals on Friday were 58,000 quintals, which is just 11% of the arrivals before the strike.

Sporadic incidents of violence continued in parts of the state on Friday . As many as 42 cases of looting and violence were registered against the protesters. A group of over 500 stopped a truck carrying onions near Kotru phata at Niphad tehsil on the Nashik-Aurangabad highway on Friday morning and emptied half of the consignment on the road. Milk cans were being spilled on many highways. The local police and the quick response team (QRT) commandos were forced to conduct a lathi charge, following which the farmers dispersed and the road was cleared for the vehicles. Reports have also emerged of instances of violence resulting in the imposition of section 144 in Nashik.

Among the cities where APMCs have been forced to shut as farmers continue their strike are Pune, Nashik, Mumbai and Thane. Lasalgaon APMC, which is the largest onion supplier in the country has been shut for the last two days. Over 25,000 quintals of onions had arrived in the market yard on May 31.Because there was no transaction in the Lasalgaon market yard on Thursday and Friday , not a single truck of onion was received by the Mumbai APMC.

The data provided by Ma harashtra State Market Committee Cooperative Federation (MSMCCF) showed that markets were closed largely in Nashik, Pune and Latur divisions with full support from farmers. President of MSMCCF Dilip Mohite told TOI that the arrivals were just 10-15 per cent and there was a 90 per cent shortage overall. “The overall shortfall will increase further as the strike intensifies,’said Mohite. In the Pune district there was 90% shortfall of produce coming into the markets while the figure was nearly 96% in Kolhapur, 30% in Satara, 40% in Solapur and 50% in Sangli district.
Activists like HM Desarda and lawyers have backed farmers.
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