A day after six farmers were killed in separate incidents of alleged police firing in Mandsaur region of Madhya Pradesh, police detained Congress leader Meenakshi Natarajan who was on her way to meet the protesting farmers on Wednesday. Natarajan is a former MP from Mandsaur and a close aide of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. ANI also reported that protesting farmers scuffled with Mandsaur collector and chased away officers from the district administration. Farmers in Ratlam-Mandsaur-Neemuch have been staging a protest seeking better prices for their produce and waiver of loans.
Home Minister Bhupendra Singh, who had earlier claimed no firing took place, later conceded that the police may have fired in self-defence at one place. A judicial probe has been ordered into the incident.
A compensation of Rs 1 crore was announced by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to families of dead persons, a job to their kin and Rs five lakh in addition to free treatment to the injured. Madhya Pradesh Patidar Samaj chief Mahendra Patidar said that the cremation of five killed at Pipalia Mandi will not happen unless Chief Minister arrives at the spot. He identified the deceased as Kanhaiyalal Patidar, Babloo Patidar, Chainram Patidar, Abhishek Patidar and Nathulal Patidar.
Over the last three days, protests have increased in Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam and Indore districts. Nearly a dozen vehicles were set ablaze and protesters also targeted the railway tracks near Mandsaur late Monday.