THE LIGHT OF ANDAMANS | ISSUE 30 | 20 APRIL 2012
Farmers on Warpath
After a prolonged battle for relief for their submerged land, when the Admn kept delaying the process for strange and mysterious administrative reasons, farmers decide to hit the road. The Member of Parliament Bishnu Pada Ray too extended his support and joined the Dharna in front of the Secretariat on 19 April.
Gram Sudhar Sangham had intimated the Lieutenant Governor on 12 April that patience have worn out and it cannot wait any more and will organise a dharna protesting the delay in payment of the compensation amount received from Centre. In October 2010, Lieutenant Governor had informed GSS that it had demanded Rs 135 crores for the purpose. Even after two years, there was no sign of any progress. Only empty promises were pouring in from the Admn.
Hundreds of farmers and their well wishers alongwith the MP sat ion a Dharna in front of Secretariat and later moved towards Raj Niwas when the talks between the agitators and Secretary revenue failed. The farmers were not allowed to meet the Lieutenant Governor citing various reasons. They blocked roads at different places and finally tried to forcefully break the blockade and enter Raj Niwas. The farmers alongwith the MP was taken into preventive detention and kept at PS Aberdeen. Learning about the detention of the farmers, hundreds of youth from South Andaman gathered near Light House Cinema and blocked road for hours demanding a resolution of the issue.
Late evening, the Deputy Commissioner South Andaman met the agitators at PS Aberdeen and handed over a letter from the Secretary, Revenue which stated that the issue is fervently pursued by the Administration at high level and the Chief Secretary will meet Cabinet Secretary, Finance and pursue the matter. It was also decided that a delegation of the farmers along with the Member of Parliament will meet the Chief Secretary on 23 April and finalise the date for disbursal of the money.
The indifferent attitude of the Administration was once again visible when they distanced themselves from the farmers and left the matter for the police to resolve.