Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday held talks with the protesting farmers at Ujjain district as the stir remained marred by fresh violence. After the meeting, Chouhan said the farmers have decided to withdraw the stir. However, MP Kisan Sena (MPKS), which is spearheading the protest, said they had not yet called off the agitation.
The meeting, however, created a rift between the protesting farmers. The RSS farmers’ body Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), that backed the stir on Saturday on its third day, said it was satisfied and declared that the agitation was withdrawn. “I am happy that farmers have decided to withdraw their strike. Madhya Pradesh government is a pro-farmer regime and it will continue to work for the welfare of farmers,” Chouhan tweeted after the meeting.
After the talks, MPKS secretary Jagdish Rawalia said they were not completely satisfied. “There are some demands which needed to be sorted out desperately. We have not called off our stir yet. We will sit with different farmers’ leaders today (Sunday) to decide future course of action,” Rawalia added. “The CM is coming to Indore tomorrow (Monday) and we can meet again the break the ice,” he added.
However, BKS’ Kshetriya Sangathan Mantri Shivkant Dixit said the farmers have decided to withdraw their strike as the CM agreed to most of their demands. “Onion purchase at Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs eight per kg would begin within couple of days,” said Dixit. Chouhan, in an another tweet, said the procurement of onion at a rate of Rs 8 per kg would be started within 3-4 days and would continue till June-end.
“In summer, the government would purchase the Moong cereal at minimum support price (MSP),” Chouhan tweeted. Chouhan also announced the withdrawal of cases filed against the farmers during the stir.
Meanwhile, fresh violence broke out in Sehore and Ratlam on Sunday. In Sehore district, nine policemen including City Superintendent of Police (CSP) SR Dadotia and tehsildar Santosh Mudgal were injured when protesting farmers allegedly pelted stones at them at Sonda village on the Indore-Bhopal road. Police were attacked when they went to disperse farmers who had stopped a banana-laden truck and were throwing the fruit on the road, Sehore ASP AP Singh, said cops, adding cops used tear gas shells to disperse the farmers.
Meanwhile, on the fourth day of the stir, farmers emptied 5,000 liters of milk from a tanker at Raipuria in Jhabua district. “Police have registered a case against the unknown persons,” said Raipuria Police Station in-charge ML Bhawan.
In Delanpur village of Ratlam district, police sub inspector Motiram Choudhary and his deputy Pawan Yadav suffered injuries in stone pelting. Three four-wheelers were also torched, allegedly by the protesting farmers. “The trouble started this evening when farmers stopped milk vendors and threw the essential liquid on the street. On getting the information, police reached the spot and tried to disperse the protesters but the farmers threw stones at them injuring two policemen,” said Ratlam Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Neha Bhartiya. Both the injured policemen were admitted to a hospital, she added.
The CM is expected to arrive in Ratlam to take part in a function on Sunday night.
The vegetables and fruits market remained closed at some places in the state especially in the Western region. The farmers’ strike, which is mostly confined to western Madhya Pradesh impacted the supply of milk, vegetable, fruits
and other essential commodities at Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Dhar, Shajapur, Khandwa, Neemuch and Ratlam.