Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was earlier detained and taken into preventive custody ahead of his visit to Mandsaur, the epicentre of the farmer protests in Madhya Pradesh. According to PTI, Gandhi attempted to break past the police barricades to enter Madhya Pradesh. Speaking to the media on his detainment, Gandhi said he was not given a reason. “I just wanted to meet with the farmers, listen to their problems. They gave me no reason for the detainment and just arrested me,” he said on Twitter.
Gandhi was later released at the Rajasthan border where he met the kin of those who died in the police firing.
The Congress leader, earlier in a tweet, said that the state government is trying to stop him from meeting the families of farmers who were killed in farmer agitation in the region. The police officials had earlier said they will not allow Gandhi to enter the district. “Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to visit violence-hit Mandsaur in MP,” SP, Neemuch, Manoj Kumar Singh.
Madhya Pradesh Live Updates:
6:20 pm: Gandhi says that those who are guilty of firing in Mandsaur should not be spared.
6:15 pm: Gandhi tells reporters, ‘What was the reason to stop me? What will happen if I meet the families of those who died in police firing? Farmers in states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are crying. They are weeping.’
6:10 pm: Rahul Gandhi has been released from custody. He also met the kin of those who died in police firing at the MP-Rajasthan border.
4:50 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre will not take any step that will break the faith of farmers and the common man. He also said there is information that some people were involved in instigating violence in Mandsaur. Investigation report is awaited, he added.
4:10 pm: Congress leader Sachin Pilot tells ANI, “Families of victims are hardly 1 Km away from us, they want to meet us but police is stopping them.” He adds, “We are here only to express solidarity with them and appeal for calm & peace but police is using brute force.”
3:15 pm: Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan reiterated that the government is ready to resolve issues through talks. He added that anti-social elements trying to bring instability will be strictly dealt with.
3:05 pm: Curfew to be relaxed for women and children from 4 pm to 6 pm in Mandsaur: SDM Mandsaur N S Rajawat.
2:10 pm: AICC general secretary and former chief minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot condemned the detention of Rahul Gandhi. “I condemn police action preventing Rahul Gandhi ji from meeting families of farmers who were killed in police firing in Madhya Pradesh. #Mandsaur,” he tweeted.
2.05 pm: Meanwhile Indian Youth Congress workers organised a Rail Roko protest at Mumbai’s Ghatkopar railway station over farmer’ protest in Mandsaur.
2.00 pm: Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said Rahul Gandhi just wanted to politicise the matter. “He (Rahul Gandhi) has been detained. What was the emergency to go there now? He only wants to do politics,” Singh was quoted as saying by ANI. On Wednesday, several BJP leaders had claimed that Congress wanted to politicise the death of five farmers in Mansaur.
1:50 pm: Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that welfare of farmers is the welfare of the country. “Country’s problems will resolve when farmers become part of agenda of politics,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
1:40 pm: Speaking to media on his detainment, Gandhi said that he was not given a reason by the police. “I just wanted to meet with the farmers, listen to their problems. They gave me no reason for the detainment and just arrested me,” he said on Twitter. He also slammed PM Modi saying he has failed to help the plight of farmers. “Modiji cannot waive off farmers’ loans, cannot give bonuses, cannot give compensation. All he can give the farmers are bullets,” he said.
1:30 pm: Speaking to the media, Congress leader Digvijay Singh slammed the central government and said the government is working “foolishly”. “Yeh sarkar murkhta poorvak dhang se chal rahi hai (This government is working foolishly),” he said. He further added that CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan should resign from his post. When asked whether the Congress is joining the fight against the government, a visibly agitated Digvijaya Singh said that this a farmers movement, this is not “ours”. Farmers are fighting against Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s government, he said.
1:26 pm: JDU leader Sharad Yadav and Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh reached Neemuch border on Thursday. Yadav requested the police personnel to allow them to meet with the families of the farmers as argument broke out between police officials and the leaders. “We are just five people, allow us to go. We are here to meet those injured in the protests and meet the families of the dead,” Yadav said. Digvijay Singh further asked: “How can you stop three people citing Section 144?”
1:12 pm: Rahul Gandhi was detained and taken into preventive custody by police ahead of his visit to violence-hit Mandsaur region in Madhya Pradesh. According to news agency PTI, the Congress leader tried to break past police barricades to enter Madhya Pradesh. Addressing the media at the MP border, Rahul Gandhi said, “PM Modi doesn’t waive off farmer loans, doesn’t give them benefits, only gives them bullets.” The Congress-vice President was taken away in a bus marked with MP Police insignia
12:52 pm: Rahul Gandhi, on his way to Mandsaur, stopped at a dhaba and shifted to a four-wheeler. At MP border, he was met with a security cordon. Defying the police orders, an angry Rahul Gandhi reportedly pushed a policeman.
12:50 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan government are preventing him from meeting with the families of farmers killed in Mandsaur. “Raj & MP Govts are doing their best to prevent me from entering MP & meeting the families of the farmers killed in Mandsaur,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter. “What law of the land says that it is illegal to stand in solidarity with farmers who were killed simply for demanding what is their right?,” he further said.
— INC India (@INCIndia) June 8, 2017
12:45 pm: A senior official told PTI that the situation in Mandsaur has returned to “almost normal”. The region saw heavy protests and farmer agitation after the killing of five farmers. The official, Divisional Commissioner M B Ojha, said that the curfew is expected to be relaxed by the evening.The situation in Mandsaur, ground zero of the farmer unrest where five people were killed, was “almost normal” today and curfew might be relaxed by evening, a senior official said. He further said that suspended internet services might be restored as well.
12:10 pm: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday dismissed Congress’ demands seeking resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Speaking to media, Naidu described Rahul Gandhi’s visit to violence-hit Mandsaur as “another photo
opportunity”. “The Congress is instigating and politicising the issue. It should stop doing that and behave as a responsible political party to help restore normalcy there,” Naidu said.
12:08 pm: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday was seen leaving for Mandsaur on a motorcycle. “Gandhi arrived here in a chartered plane and left for Madhya Pradesh by road,” IG Udaipur Anand Srivastava earlier told PTI. Gandhi is accompanied by PCC Rajasthan chief Sachin Pilot and other party leaders, including Digvijay Singh, Girija Vyas, Kamalnath. Earlier the police officials had said that the Congress leader will not be allowed to enter Mandsaur.
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 8, 2017
11:55 am: Madhya Pradesh police on Thursday said that 62 people have been arrested in connection with farmers’ protest. “62 persons detained in connection with farmers’ protest in Mandsaur,” police officials said, according to news agency PTI. An FIR was also lodged. Some people were detained in connection with the heckling of Mandsaur Collector.
11:10 am: Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh on Thursday said that the probe has revealed that the five farmers died due to police firing. “Death of the 5 farmers was due to Police firing. It has been established in probe,” Bhupendra Singh told news agency ANI. On Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Mandsaur on Thursday, Singh said, “Why does Rahul Fandhi want to come here? The government has accepted all the demands of the farmers.”
10:45 am: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, along with JDU leader Sharad Yadav, have left for the Mandsaur to visit the families of the farmers killed in the firing.
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 8, 2017