The struggle of kisans in Nohar on the issue crop insurance payments

Kisans in Nohar, Rajasthan have been demanding full payment for their damaged crops. Recently, they have further escalated their agitation. Their ten-point demands include depositing outstanding insurance claims in their accounts, making crop cutting data public, restoring closed insurance policies, reinstating closed Kisan Credit Card accounts, eliminating the requirement of inheritance certificates, issuing new agricultural connections, providing full quota of water to canals, reforms in the Jal Jeevan Mission scheme, etc. Apart from All India Kisan Sabha and Lok Raj Sangathan, several organisations and people of various sections have come together to provide leadership to the struggle.

Nohar_dharnaIt has been the experience of kisans that when their crops are damaged, the insurance claims are not fully paid. They have pointed out that insurance companies, in connivance with the government officials, cut down on their insurance claims. Therefore, they have demanded that crop cutting data be made public and the kisans should be given full insurance claim based on this data.

Kisans decided to intensify their struggle and stage an indefinite sit-in outside the Nohar subdivision office from 16th January. A large number of kisans gathered at the protest site and sat in a mahapadav (dharna) on the main road and lashed out against the state and central governments. After their public meeting, angry kisans broke the barricades in front of the subdivision office and entered the sub-divisional office, pushing the police aside. By late evening, the kisans had entered the sub-divisional office and started their dharna inside.

Those who addressed the dharna included Lok Raj Sangathan’s national vice-president Hanuman Prasad Sharma, CPI(M) secretary Suresh Swami, litterateur Vinod Swami, Block Director Rajesh Dudi, Sarjit Beniwal, Rameshwar Khichad, Jeetram Ballia, Pratap Sinwar, Bhalaram Swami, Rakesh Nehra, Balchand Sheela, Maniram Nehra, Hemraj Kadawasra, Ganpatram Saharan, Dilip Saharan, Anil Sheoran, Pratap Goswami, Narek Khati and others.

Speakers said that hiding the data of insurance claim disbursement itself proves that all is not above board. They pointed out that the role of the state and central governments in making agriculture a loss-making deal cannot be denied. From DAP and urea crisis to insurance claims, annadatas are being forced to come out on to the streets. In such a situation, kisans have to unitedly fight. In the dharna on 16th Jan also, kisans had to spend the night in the tents in the freezing cold.

As soon as the ADM and sub-divisional offices opened the next morning, the kisans declared that their agitation will intensify and it will continue till they received the full insurance claim.

On January 17, the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police reached the block office in the evening after two rounds of talks between the agitating kisans with the local administration failed. The District Collector assured the kisans that all their demands will be discussed and fulfilled.

After this, the kisans have ended their strike but have decided to continue their protest till the insurance payments are actually made.

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