MP farmers' protest: Mandsaur collector, police chief removed

Cheryl Sanders
June 8, 2017

Chauhan has ordered a judicial probe into the firing.

The situation is tense but under control.

"Did they seek resignation of Singh when the 24 farmers were killed?"

Sirohi warned that if the situation did not change immediately, the farmers would resort to a "jail bharo" campaign across the state.

Some eyewitnesses alleged that the victims died of bullet wounds, but Mandsaur district authorities denied that police fired on the rampaging protesters.

Mobile Internet was cut off and thousands of police in riot gear patrolled the streets of the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh state after the violence on Tuesday. In a sign that the government is on the backfoot, two top district officials have been suspended. Police said it were the farmers who triggered the violence. He also blamed the opposition Congress party for instigating the violence.

The farmers' uprising in Madhya Pradesh, as well as neighbouring Maharashtra over similar demands, poses a big challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who stormed to power three year ago with the promise of freeing farmers of a cycle of debts. Fresh incidents of violence and looting of vehicles carrying essentials goods were reported from various parts of the State, including Indore, Ujjain, Ratlam, Harda, Dhar, Jhabua, Khargone, Mandsaur and Neemuch.

Despite the prohibitory measures in Mandsaur district, the protesters torched shops in Suasara town and a warehouse in Badi Choupati area besides blocking the Mhow-Neemuch highway for hours, police said.

As the BJP-ruled state grappled to contain the situation, the Centre rushed five battalions of paramilitary forces to Madhya Pradesh. "It will be advisable for them not to interfere in such matters", said BJP leader Tomar.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh - who is also from the BJP - said of his MP counterpart: "Shivraj ji has done a lot of work for farmers and in the agriculture sector".

The death toll of farmers during violent agitation in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has risen to six, India's official broadcaster - All India Radio (AIR) said Wednesday.

He also announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased and assistance of Rs 1 lakh to the injured.

And some 200 km away, a group of farmers marched to a police station in Dewas district and set fire to vehicles parked there. Added to their earlier demands for sops was the demand for action against those responsible for killing five protesting farmers in Mandsaur on Tuesday.

Shiv Kumar Sharma, president of the Rashtriya Kisan Majdoor Sangh, openly announced that their agitation would continue until their two main demands - remunerative prices for produces and loan waiver - were met. The farmers which got killed yesterday in Madhya Pradesh belonged to Patidar community whose statewide agitation under Hardik Patel shook the Gujarat, and do not have any links with the Congress.

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