Mandsaur firing: Situation under control, CM announces Rs 1 cr for families of deceased

Mandsaur firing: Situation under control, CM announces Rs 1 cr for families of deceased

By: || Updated: 07 Jun 2017 08:33 AM

Fires rage after violent clashes between farmers and police at Pipliya in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday. (PTI)

BHOPAL: Five farmers were shot dead and dozens injured as a gathering storm among the peasantry in several states broke on Tuesday in Madhya Pradesh, ruled by a chief minister who has been winning the top agriculture prize in the country for the past five years.

Farmers' agitation turned violent in MP's Mandsaur district, prompting the authorities to clamp curfew in the trouble-hit area. Authorities said situation is now under control.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a judicial probe after holding a meeting with senior civil and police officers. Shivraj also announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore and Government job to one family member of deceased. He said Rs 5 lakh shall be given to the injured.

Chouhan blamed the Congress for the violence by farmers while Congress state unit President Arun Yadav and Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh dubbed it as failure of the government.

The Congress said it has formed a panel of MLAs to probe the Mandsaur violence.

The farmers were demanding minimum support price for their crops and loan waivers. The demand for loan relief has spread like wildfire across several states in northern India after the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh had fulfilled the BJP's poll promise by announcing a Rs 36,359-crore waiver.

The deaths took place in Mandsaur, 340km from Bhopal, when security forces allegedly opened fire. The state government has denied the hand of police, a claim that is being seen as an oblique suggestion that the CRPF, a central paramilitary force, may have opened fire to disperse a group torching trucks.


 The deceased farmers have been identified as Prem Singh, Kanhaiya Lal Patidar, Bunty Patidar, Chainaram Patidar and Abhishek Patidar.Internet and mobile phone services were suspended in several districts such as Indore, Ujjain, Ratlam, Dewas and Mandsaur to discourage the farmers, who have been protesting from June 1, from gathering in large numbers.

Mandsaur police superintendent O.P. Tripathi said curfew had been imposed in the city.

For the past two days, BJP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had been claiming that farmers had called off their agitation.

Chouhan had held two rounds of discussions with the pro-BJP Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) on Sunday and Monday. However, it seems the BKS has little or no influence on the agitating farmers.

The Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, an umbrella organisation of protesting farmers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, has called a strike in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.

The outburst of rural discontent has cast a cloud on the claim by Chouhan, the five-time winner of the Krishi Karman Award conferred by the Centre for maximum foodgrain production in the country.

Witnesses said 2,000 farmers protesting on the Neemach-Mandsaur highway torched over a dozen trucks and several motorbikes.

On Monday, chief minister Chouhan had suggested the government would purchase onions from the farmers at Rs 8 per kilo. He had also announced the setting up of a price stabilisation fund of Rs 1,000 crore to buy farm produce at the minimum support price.

Farmers in several states, such as Maharashtra, where a farmer committed suicide on Tuesday, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, have been seeking loan waivers after the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh wrote off dues.

Many farmers in Madhya Pradesh want Chouhan to write off outstanding loans, pointing to unseasonal rainfall and drought in the past three years.

In March, SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya had cautioned that "credit discipline breaks when you waive off farm loans. Money will come in today because government will pay but when we will give loan in future, farmers will wait for next elections".

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