Several farmers planning protests against Prime Minister Narendra Modi were detained in Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Shivamogga districts of Karnataka. This was on a day the Prime Minister was visiting Tumakuru to hand out the Krishi Karman Awards for progressive farmers and to announce additional income support for farmers in the state.
According to police officials in Shivamogga, 16 farmers belonging to the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) were detained at the Shivamogga railway station at around 6:30 am. The protesters were planning to travel to Tumakuru in the early morning train and hold a protest against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his public interaction on Thursday. They were released at 3 pm, more than eight hours after they were detained.
"We had received information that a group of farmers were planning to go to Tumakuru and protest. They were detained as a preventive action and released later," a police official in Shivamogga told TNM.
Meanwhile, five farmers were also detained near the Parle G Factory near Rukmini Nagar in Bengaluru Rural district. More than 100 farmers of the KRRS were similarly detained in Tumakuru for protesting the 'anti-farmer' policies of the central government.
Among those detained was Kodihalli Chandrashekar, the state president of KRRS. Speaking to The News Minute, Kodihalli Chandrashekar said that the farmers were planning a peaceful agitation and planned to raise several issues, particularly the lack of funds released to the state government in Karnataka following floods in 2019.
"Last year, 22 districts in Karnataka were affected by floods but the central government did not release funds to the state government. We also wanted to remind the central government to implement recommendations laid down in the Swaminathan Report (on providing remunerative prices for farm produce)," Kodihalli Chandrashekar told TNM after he was released.
"We planned a Gandhian protest. Is this a democracy or dictatorship silencing all those who protest?" Kodihalli Chandrashekar asked.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Karnataka for a two-day state visit on Thursday. He took part in a programme at the Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru. During the programme, he referenced farmers in Karnataka multiple times. The Prime Minister also announced the release of the third instalment of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan). Under the PM-Kisan Yojana, farmers are given additional income support of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each.
"I hope that those states who have not implemented the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, implement it this year. They must rise over party politics to help the farmers in their states. Politics like this has prevented strengthening of farmers in India for a long time," Prime Minister Modi said speaking in Tumakuru. He also hailed south India's role in agricultural exports.
I hope that those states who have not implemented the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, implement it this year.— BJP (@BJP4India) January 2, 2020
They must rise over party politics to help the farmers in their states. Politics like this has prevented strengthening of farmers in India for a long time: PM #PMWithFarmers pic.twitter.com/FB4cVejfuB
The detentions come two weeks after the Bengaluru police detained anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters, including students, in the city for defying prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC on December 19.