The 5 killed: None had land to his name or a regular job

Away from the spotlight, the families are still trying to come to terms with the deep sense of loss, grief often giving way to anger. Each has one query: Why was he shot?

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Mandsaur | Published:June 9, 2017 5:25 am
Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, Farmer protest (From top left to right ) Abhishek Age: 19, Satyanarayan 30, Chainram 23. Kanhaiyalal 44 (bottom left), poonamchand
22 (bottom right)

The story of the five killed in police firing at Pipliya Mandi in Mandsaur Tuesday is one of despair before death.
None of the five was a land-owning farmer. One was a 19-year-old in Class XI who liked biology, the second an unemployed 23-year-old who had married two months ago and wanted to join the Army, the third a 30-year-old who worked as a daily wager, and the remaining two — a 22-year-old and a 44-year-old — who worked on family farm lands they didn’t own.

Their families live in villages within a radius of 25 km from Mandsaur town. Away from the spotlight, the families are still trying to come to terms with the deep sense of loss, grief often giving way to anger. Each has one query: Why was he shot?

This is their story:

Abhishek Dinesh Patidar 

A student of Class XI who was fond of biology, Abhishek was the youngest of four siblings. The family house is located off the Mandsaur-Neemuch highway in Barkheda Panth village. On Tuesday, the family placed his body on the highway and blocked it, forcing the District Collector to rush there with a large police force. The Collector was nearly manhandled by angry villagers and had to beat a retreat.

Abhishek’s father Dinesh, a 55-year-old father who is yet to get his share of the family’s 28 bigha of land, says his son was only raising slogans during the protest. He never indulged in violence, says the father. “What harm could a teenager do to the police,’’ asked a relative, alleging he was shot from close range.

Poonamchand alias Babloo Jagdish Patidar

From Takrawad village, 25 km from the Pipliya Mandi police station, Poonamchand lost his father in January 2016. Chasing a BSc degree, he gave up college in the second year because he had to take care of seven bigha of family land that was never transferred to him. He got married. Worried that he had not been able to recover input costs for soyabean, garlic and wheat, Poonamchand joined the protest.

“He was drinking water when he was shot in the chest. He and other farmers were in the middle of talks when men in a police vehicle passed by and shot him,” says uncle Ghanshyam. Kantilal Patidar, a friend who was witness to the incident, says “the police gave us no warning… we thought they will lob tear gas shells but they simply fired. He took the first bullet and the second bullet hit Kanhaiyalal.’’

“We don’t know who will take care of the land because now only his young wife and and an ailing mother are left,’’ says relative Subhash Patidar.

Chainram Ganpat Patidar

From Nayakheda village, Chainram got married on April 29 because it was Akshaya Tritiya, an auspicious day. His young wife has been in a state of shock since Tuesday. His father, who owns less than two bigha, works as a farm labour to make ends meet. “My son’s dream was a life in the Army” is all that he says. Others in the family say Chainram took part in three recruitment camps in Mhow, Bhopal and Gwalior but was rejected each time. Though he always managed to clear the endurance tests, a vision defect in one eye ruled him out.

The family once owned a large piece of land but much of it was acquired by the government in the late 1970s for a dam. The compensation was so meagre, says a relative, that the family could not buy land elsewhere and fell on hard times. Chainram’s younger brother, who is studying in Class XII, hopes he will get a job the Madhya Pradesh government has promised to the next of kin of each

Satyanarayan Mangilal Dhangar

A a resident of Lodh village, more than 20 km from Mandsaur, Satyanarayan, who studied till Class VII, worked as a daily wager, earning Rs 200. A bachelor, he earned more than the family’s income from agriculture. The family has around six bigha but they do still do not have the land title. Elder brother Raju Dhangar says: “He was the only one to bring money daily. The rest of us spent time on the small family land. Agriculture income is never certain.’’

Satyanarayan was the youngest of four siblings. “Had he told me he was going to attend the protest rally, I would have probably stopped him. He told someone that he just wanted to see the rally. I don’t know how he ended up there,’’ Raju says.

Father Mangilal is worried that he doesn’t have an Aadhaar card because it will be needed to open a bank account — the government has promised Rs one crore to the family of each dead.

Kanhaiyalal Dhurilal Patidar

A resident of Chillod Pipliya and father of two children, he did not study beyond Class VIII but his 16-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son attend school. He and his three brothers have seven bigha. “He was fearless and thought the police would not touch him because the protest was peaceful. He thought the police were calling him to talk, but they shot him,’’ neighbour Suresh Chandra Patidar says.

Elder brother Kaluram says farming has become a loss-making proposition because farmers are unable to recover even input costs.

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  1. V
    Vijay
    Jun 21, 2017 at 9:02 am
    Question is not why they were shot but why they were at place at the time of shooting ?
    Reply
    1. P
      Pawan
      Jun 12, 2017 at 1:00 am
      What a useless heading....This headline is trending on social media that all 5 killed were not farmers. Do the editor knows about the ground realities? Not having farm land in own name is not relevant...What matters is if he or his family is considerably dependant on farming. If you read the same article in detail, you come to know that all were considerably dependent on farming..... Indian Express should refrain from confusing heafdlines like this....
      Reply
      1. R
        ranjiv jindal
        Jun 11, 2017 at 2:16 pm
        FARMER ISSUE IS REALY A ISSUE ??CITIZENS DON'T KBOW HIW MUCH FARMERS ARE HAVING 20 ACRES LAND AND NO. OF FARMERS WHO GET LOAN FOR FARMING BUT USE IT IN BUISNESS OTHER SIDE ANY FAMILY MEMBER OF FARMER CAN ALSO BE GOVT. EMPLO AS EX.SURJAWALA,BADAL,SHIV KUMAR SHARA FARMER LEADER ETC. FROM WHICH ANGLE THEY ARE FARMER THEY ARE BIG BUISNESSMAN. 1/3 OF FARMER DON'T EVEN HAVE TGERE OWN LAND HOW THEY BECAME DEFAULTER.ITS OUR BAD LUCK THAT A HANDFULL OF PEOPLE WHO LED A LUXURY LIFE WHO TAKE LOAN FOR FARMING BUT USE IT ON BUISNESS GROWTH ARE HIJACKING THIS TYPE OF MOVEMENTS AND BLACKMAIL THE GOVT. MISGUIDE THE COUNTRY AND ALL THE POLITICIANS PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN THIS LAST 70 YEARS WHENEVER WE LAUNCH A POLICY WE DON'T SEE NEEDFULL OR NOT WE LAUNCH THAT POLICY ON. BASIS OF RELIGION,CAST AND SUCH POLICIES ARE MADE KEEPING AN EYE ON RELIGION , CASTE ETC. THEN WE SAY THAT INDIA ISN'T DEVELOPING . IF WE DON'T LEAVE MAKING POLICIES ON THESE BASES WE CANCAN'T DEVELOP
        Reply
        1. M
          M r Makwana
          Jun 10, 2017 at 1:17 am
          If one goes into the roots of all agitations, it is the failed promises and neglecting the interests of agitators. So far the farmers agitations all over the country and in particular of MP is concerned it is total failure of the state and central Govt because continuous suicides of farmers are ignored and crocodile tears shed. Big promises made during elections but not fulfilled, loan waived in other states but not in MP. Uniform central policies not framed and followed. Farmers interests are neglected all along. Small and marginal farmer's interests are overlooked and ignored. Draughts, power failures, lack of buying and storage facilities and other issues not addressed properly. Big farmer and businesses houses interests are always protected because they fund parties but poor farmers with huge loan defaults and stringent recovery process compel them for suicides and agitations and they are dealt with bullets. It's time the Govt must look a fresh and give relief to farmers immly.
          Reply
          1. A
            Anad
            Jun 10, 2017 at 12:51 am
            Instead of asking the question on why these 5 unemplo people with none of them farmers involved in farmers agitation? Who pushed them to fore front to act violently and resulted in shooting by police? It is very clear Congie stooges were involved in the conspiracy to destabilise the state.But we can never justify the shooting by police and later denying it. I am unable to understand why a govt who swear as pro farmers and competing to waive off loans to show their concern not able to control the price ? It is high time we get rid of middle men , agents and commodities should be available thru shandys so that farmers get better price. All Baniyas were BJP sympathisers as they do nothing other than jobbing and getting commission. Farmers instead of sel to middle men or traders should bring their produce to street corners,village corners or infront of busy market place and sell directly to end users.NGO and social workers should help them
            Reply
            1. S
              Syed Muniruddin
              Jun 9, 2017 at 11:06 pm
              Every Govt since independence has failed to tackle the problem of poverty in farming families, particularly those holding small areas of land. A bumper crop helps keep the commodity prices down and helps the Govt. in power. A big margin of profit is pocketed by Traders and Govt. does nothing.
              Reply
              1. S
                Sandeep Daange
                Jun 9, 2017 at 9:11 pm
                arre Indian Express. Please change the le. it is misleading to masses.
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sujit Kumar Panda
                  Jun 9, 2017 at 8:34 pm
                  Indian express top news
                  Reply
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