NEW DELHI: 116 days and no one is listening to the farmers from Tamil Nadu. Not even the Prime Minister, who tore through the police cordon at Jantar Mantar and reached his residence at Race Course road in a desperate bid to be heard.

“You can shoot us and we want to die,” the farmers shouted when the cops tried to stop them at their protest venue in Jantar Mantar. After a scuffle where their desperation was visible, they farmers reached PM Narendra Modi’s residence where they gave their charter of demands to officials. They were told to wait at the parking lot outside.

Shortly after, according to the farmers their leader Ayyakkannu was manhandled by an Assistant Sub Inspector posted at the PM’s residence. So the farmers attacked him. The security officials rushed out and rounded them up. The cops tried to push them into the police van. The farmers ran outside and undressed themselves on the main road. They lay down on the road blocking the traffic, as they had been given no assurance that their demands would be even noted.

They were taken to Chanakyapuri police station and after their statements were recorded individually, shifted to the Parliament street police station.

The farmers arrested included Ayyakkannu(73), Prakash(28), Dhakjisina Moorthy( 45)John Melkeoraj(56), Lister(54), Paramasivam(53), Shiva(27) Murugan(31) Sudhakar(35).

The longstanding demands of the farmers from Tamil Nadu include:

  • Compensation for the losses incurred because of acute drought;
  • Loan waiver from the nationalized banks;
  • Remunerative price for the agricultural products;
  • Interlinking of rivers;
  • Stop the work of ONGC causing damage to agricultural lands at Kathira Mangalam, Neduvasal and Nallandar Kollai.

Despite assurance from both the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and central ministers the demands have not been accepted with a time frame for implementation. The farmers who had returned to their villages after the first phase, returned this time carrying cyanide with them. They insisted that this time they would not return to the drought and debts but kill themselves in Delhi. The cyanide was taken away by the cops but the farmers maintained that this would not change the end result if their demands were not heeded.

The TN farmers long protest has snowballed into all India protests in different parts of the country.From being isolated the Tamil Nadu farmers are now part of a larger conglomerate, and will be present at the mass public meeting at Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi on November 20 on the eve of the winter session of Parliament.