A group of farmers from Osmanabad district in Maharashtra on Friday dumped vegetables at the gates of the state secretariat Mantralaya in Mumbai, protesting against the struggles they face selling their farm produce, PTI reported.
The farmers were detained after they threw onions, brinjals, potatoes, lemons and green chillies at the Mantralaya gate. The protestors even shouted slogans against the state government and were then taken to the Marine Drive police station in south Mumbai.
A farmer told The Times of India that most of them had come from Osmanabad and wanted to set up a farmers’ market in Borivli suburb of Mumbai. However, they alleged that they were turned away by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation staff.
“The government has allowed growers to sell fruits and vegetables outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committee markets,” a farmer told the newspaper. “But we were not being allowed to sell our produce by the BMC officials, so we decided to dump the vegetables outside Mantralaya.”
The protestors even alleged that civic officials and police officers had been demanding bribes from them to allow them to set up shops. “While vendors from other states can sell their produce in the commercial capital, the farmers of the state have to face hurdles,” a protestor told The Indian Express.
The police said eight people had been booked under various sections of the Bombay Police Act, 1951, that deal with prohibitory arrests carried out to prevent disorder. The protestors were released on personal bonds, reports said.