NEW DELHI: A group of hardy farmers from Tamil Nadu, who protested at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar for 41 days called off their protest on April 23. To catch the Centre’s attention, the farmer had been protesting in scorching heat and resorted to various ways to draw everyone’s eye towards them.
They feasted on grass, drank their own urine and rolled bare-bodied on hard tar road. They have shaved their heads, halved their moustaches, held mice and snakes in their mouths, conducted mock funerals, flogged themselves and even carried skulls of other farmers who had committed suicide due to debt pressure.
The protesting farmers also drank their own urine in another desperate bid to draw the government’s attention to their plight.
After the protest was suspended, photos of these farmers having decent food at Jantar Mantar have gone viral on social media. Along with the pictures, a message is also doing rounds alleging that the entire protest was fake and a communist group has brought them to Delhi.
“..these farmers are fake. Communists have brought them to Delhi. They are served mineral water and meals from a first-class restaurant. They are provided unlimited coffee and tea,” claimed a message.
“They do not speak anything against Tamil Nadu government but agitating in Delhi to defame Modi government,” it alleged.
Watch the video to understand the matter in details:
What eyewitness claim:
According to Vinod, a sanitation worker at Sulabh’s toilet complex, the protesting farmers were provided with good food like dosa, idli, chicken and biryani. He claimed that during protest bottles of wine were also recovered from inside toilet complex.
Another eyewitness Arjun, a water vendor, said he has never seen a protest like that in his lifetime. He claimed that they drank urine, held mice and snakes in their mouths only for cameras.
Ramesh, a tea-seller, claimed that the Tamil Nadu farmers enjoyed good food during protest at Jantar Mantar.
What protesters say:
Protest leader P. Ayyakkannu said that they purchased food from street vendors at Jantar Mantar.
“We sat on roads and took food from street vendors. We don’t know about three or five-star hotels. We don’t know about the communist party of India, neither did we go to Delhi with anybody’s help,” he said.
“We went there on our money. Some farmers had even borrowed money from money-lenders. Now, they’re spreading false propaganda against farmers. This is not good for country,” he added.
Ayyakkannu said if anyone can prove that they received food from any five start hotel, he will commit suicide.
“Some BJP leaders have also alleged that I own an Audi car and have 100 acres of land. I challenge all such people to produce proof of what they’re saying. As an honest and sincere person, I say that I will commit suicide if they can prove it,” he said.
Vasudevan, a farmer who took part in the protest said, “Some people are saying that what I drank was not urine but wine. I want to tell them that after seeing us drinking urine, eyes of policemen at Jantar Mantar filled with tears. We are facing drought and to highlight our grievances we protested”.
First Published: 29 Apr 2017 11:42 PM