Farmer protests
"They have left us to die," says farmer collective's chief.
File photograph

It has been 56 days since the farmers from Tamil Nadu started their second round of protests in New Delhi. This time, they have warned of a drastic step to grab Centre and state’s attention — a nude protest on the 100th day.

On Saturday, about 41 farmers from Tamil Nadu protesting in New Delhi pretended that to have been hanged upside down. Addressing the media, Iyyakannu, the Tamil Nadu chief of the Desiya Thenidhiya Nathigal Inaippu Vivasayigal Sangam (a farmers' collective), said, “We have been protesting in Delhi for so long, they have left us to die. We have been protesting to protect ourselves. If our demands are not accepted, on the 100th day, we will conduct a nude protest.”

The demands of the farmers from Tamil Nadu have been interlinking of rivers in India, a pension of Rs 5000 for farmers above the age of 60 and a waiver of loans by banks and finance companies.

“We have not got any response either from the state nor from the central government. We will continue our protest till our demands are not accepted,” said Prem Kumar from Desiya Thenindiya Nadhineer Inaippu Vyavasaigal Sangam, speaking to TNM.

He added that Iyyakannu had filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for loan waiver for the farmers in Tamil Nadu.

On April 23, farmers had suspended their first round of protests in Delhi after meeting Chief Minister Edapaddi Palanisamy. They had protested for 41 days, and had said that they will restart their protest on May 25 if their demands were not met. They began their protests again in July and took various desperate steps to get the attention of the central government, like shaving half of their moustache, tonsuring their head, putting dead snakes and rats in their mouths and carrying skulls of what they said, were of dead farmers.