Ending the confusion on who fired at the protesting farmers in Mandasaur in Madhya Pradesh, the state government on Thursday conveyed to the Centre that the five farmers were killed in police firing. In its report sent to the Union Home Ministry, the Madhya Pradesh government said the farmers protesting for loan waiver allegedly set ablaze 25 trucks and two police vans along the Mhow-Neemuch highway on Tuesday. The police tried to control the mob, first with lathicharge and then by lobbing tear gas shells, it said.
However, the report said, when the farmers continued with the violence — “arson, vandalism and destruction of public property” — the police fired at them, killing five farmers and injuring eight others. The confirmation that the five farmers were killed in police firing bears significance as the MP government had initially claimed that police did not fire at the protesters.
In the report, the state government also said that after Tuesday’s incident, seven people were arrested for allegedly indulging in violence. The violence had broken out in eight districts in Madhya Pradesh — Mandsaur, Dhar, Jhabua, Neemuch, Ratlam, Dewas, Shajapur and Sehore — and the state government was taking all possible steps to restore peace, the report said.