In order to protest against the unfair stance of the Board of Directors of the Hadapsar market against Khotidar farmers, the Hadapsar market has been shut and a hunger strike has been organized in support of Khotidar farmers.
Speaking to Pune Pulse, Balasaheb Bhise, a Khotidar farmer, Hadapsar market said, “The Hadapsar market has been shut today ( February 2 ). The other traders & farmers selling their produce in the Hadapsar market have shown support to us. The secretary of the Hadapsar market met us yesterday and we told him that whatever terms were put in by the market are not acceptable to us. Hence, the secretary told us that he would meet & discuss with other senior persons of the Hadapsar market and notify us & request us to withdraw from the hunger strike. However, we are firm on our decision to go on a hunger strike until we get some relief. However, by keeping the entire market shut, the other farmers, traders, etc will face huge losses as they won’t be able to sell their produce. Hence, I am going to request the traders & farmers of the market, who have participated in the hunger strike, to let the market be open for smooth selling of the produce due to which the farmers & traders won’t be affected.”
In December 2023, due to the heckling of khotidar farmers from Late Annasaheb Magar market in Hadapsar, a khotidar farmer Balasaheb Bhise started a begging movement called ‘Bheek Maago Andolan’ in Hadapsar to protest against this action of the market committee.
From the past 6 days i.e. late January 2024, Bhise started a hunger strike. However, no response has come from the market committee regarding allowing khotidar farmers to operate in the market. Therefore, Balasaheb Bhise has decided to continue the hunger strike.
Meanwhile, MLA Ashok Pawar, former MLA Mahadev Babar, Rajendra Babar, Appa Mandale, Raju Konde, Duryodhan Kamthe, Nandkumar Sarode, Sanjay Mehta, Dilip Gaikwad, Praveen Tilekar, etc met Balasaheb Bhise & extended their support to the hunger strike.
Hemant Chaudhary, Ramdas Kotwal of Rayat Shetkari Sangathana met Balasaheb Bhise with a letter from the Hadapsar market committee and requested them to withdraw the hunger strike.
Even on the sixth day of the hunger strike, the Hadapsar market committee hasn’t taken any decision about the same. Hence, the hunger strike participants have warned to intensify the hunger strike.