The Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into allegations that police personnel made a group of farmers strip down to their underwear and beat them at Tikakgarh Rural Police Station on Tuesday.
The farmers were returning after taking part in a protest organized by the Opposition Congress party in Tikakmgarh town when they were taken to the police station, made to take off their clothes and beaten up in the custody. DGP R K Shukla told The Indian Express that a probe has been ordered into the incident based on media reports because none of the farmers have lodged any complaint so far.
The state human rights commission has taken cognizance and sought a report from the Tikamgarh superintendent of police and called for documents from the rural police station where the incident took place. Thousands of farmers had participated in Khet Bachao Kisan Bachao Andolan organized by the Congress in the town to demand that Tikamgarh district be declared drought-affected because it had received insufficient rains.
Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh and former Congress Minister Yadavendra Singh addressed a rally to criticize the BJP government for doing little for farmers. Trouble started when Congressmen led by the former minister wanted to hand over a memorandum to the district collector who refused to meet them and instead sent a sub-divisional magistrate.
The situation took a turn for the worse when some protesters allegedly pelted stones at the police who responded with lathi charge. The police also lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. While the Congress said that nearly 30 protesters were injured, the administration claimed that at least eight police personnel sustained injuries.
Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia criticized the BJP government for using force against farmers.