As protests spread to other MP areas, Shivraj Singh Chouhan offers farm sops

Chouhan gave orders to immediately constitute a Rs 1000-crore price stabilisation fund. He also announced that tur, urad and moong would be purchased from farmers from June 10 to June 30.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Mandsaur | Published:June 8, 2017 5:16 am
Mandsaur, Farmer Protest, Shivraj singh Chouhan Dewas: A police emergency dial 100 vehicle torched by farmers in Hatpipalya of district Dewas, Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday. PTI Photo(PTI6_7_2017_000086B)

A DAY after five farmers were killed in police firing, tension prevailed in Mandsaur and the adjoining district of Neemuch as protesters defied curfew and indulged in arson and violence on Wednesday. The violence also spread to other districts of the state, with protesters torching vehicles and blocking road and rail traffic in Dewas, Ujjain, Sehore and Barwani. Seeking to cool tempers, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who held a meeting of his Krishi Cabinet on Wednesday, announced more sops for farmers, including a loan settlement scheme for defaulters. The government also announced that a commission would be set up to fix a formula to ensure a fair price for crops by deducting agricultural costs.

Chouhan gave orders to immediately constitute a Rs 1000-crore price stabilisation fund. He also announced that tur, urad and moong would be purchased from farmers from June 10 to June 30. Meanwhile, nearly two dozen vehicles were set on fire over the last 24 hours on the stretch between Mandsaur and Pipalia Mandi. All the five farmers who were killed in two separate incidents of firing near the Pipalia Mandi police station on Tuesday were from this area, which has become the epicentre of the protests.

While six deaths were reported earlier, district officials said on Wednesday that one death was not related to the protests. The farmers are demanding better prices for their produce and waiver of loans. The road connecting Mandsaur and Neemuch remained out of bounds for most part of the day with protesters torching more vehicles and a warehouse. At Barkhenda Pant village, Mandsaur Collector Swatantra Kumar Singh was heckled by relatives of one of the farmers who died and other villagers.

Singh had gone to the spot to ask the protesters to clear the road and take the farmer’s body for cremation. The protesters demanded immediate action against police officials involved in the firing. Singh and Superintendent of Police O P Tripathi had to beat a hasty retreat after they were heckled.  While video footage showed that Singh was hit on the head, he played down the incident and said he was not manhandled. He claimed that anti-social elements had taken over the protests.

While the district administration claimed that enough security personnel had been deployed in the area, bike-borne protesters roamed freely on the streets, warning government officials and policemen not to venture beyond a toll booth located between Mandsaur and Pipalia Mandi. While those on motorcycles relayed information about the movement of security personnel, others on foot pelted stones at CRPF, RPF and police personnel, who fired teargas shells to disperse the crowd.

“We decided to abandon the toll booth after protesters damaged it and looked set to burn the ambulance parked next to it,’’ said a paramedical staff. “Why would we not be angry? While the prices of produce continue to crash, the wages of labourers have not reduced. We end up incurring losses. All protesters are genuine farmers… their anger has reached a boiling point,’’ said two masked protesters, who refused to identify themselves or their village.

Meanwhile, the families of the other four farmers who were killed agreed to carry out their last rites on Wednesday. The Madhya Pradesh Patidar Samaj had claimed on Tuesday that the cremations would not take place until Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made an appearance. Late on Tuesday, Chouhan increased the compensation from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore and a job to the next of kin of each dead.

The bandh called by the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (RKMS), a group formed by a former RSS worker, and Congress received mixed response on Wednesday.

A senior officer in the Chief Minister’s Office said the police and district administration were asked to be patient and lenient towards protesters earlier on Wednesday as the bodies of those killed had to be cremated. “That was done for strategic reasons, but the administration has now been told to deal with the situation strictly,’’ he said, adding that the people who torched buses near Sonkutch had been identified.

While Chouhan is unlikely to travel to Mandsaur till the situation improves, the district administration is reported to have said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is planning a visit on Thursday, would not be allowed to enter the area. DGP Rishikant Shukla said additional security forces have been rushed to Mandsaur and the situation would be brought under control soon. He said the arson was confined to Mandsaur and Dewas.

In Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it had sent 1,100 anti-riots police personnel to Mandsaur. The Centre has also sought a detailed report on the violence on Tuesday. About 600 personnel of the Rapid Action Force have already reached Mandsaur, said a Home Ministry official, adding that another 500 RAF personnel are being sent.

The state human rights commission has also sought a report on the firing. A two-judge bench of the commission will hear the matter on June 23.

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  1. M
    Michael Varghese
    Jun 8, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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    Reply
    1. S
      sinha
      Jun 8, 2017 at 12:34 pm
      Zee news narrow minded anchors haven’t seen farmers wearing paint & shirts. They need and there intension to see farmers in dhoti and kurta with side packets. Spreading rumors firing not done by police , and some time says police all double st ed. Pet Spoons of raising sun. halkath very cheep !
      Reply
      1. V
        Vineetz
        Jun 8, 2017 at 11:56 am
        How inefficient is bjp? Local farmers are killed by police firing. And the government has novlue who killed them???? They dont have any charges pressed againt the murderers. And they are on top of that blaming congress? Who the is going to buy that? Yes the ed bhakths with low iq who dont have a functioning brain of their own! What a shame.. How much more ridiculous is this gonna get?
        Reply
        1. A
          arc
          Jun 8, 2017 at 10:53 am
          Farmers should reciprocate the govt action by lynching gaurakshaks and their political leaders.Lynching is the only language these terrorist chaddis understand. Catch them in by one and pulverise them to pulp and send them to meet their Ram Tulla.
          Reply
          1. P
            Patchaitamizhan
            Jun 8, 2017 at 10:51 am
            The stinking Italian mummy and her dummy have no good thinking. they are waiting for opportunity to instigate problems in India and give trouble to Modi and his Government. whenever the drop-out students, cal themselves as dalits engage in agitation, this raul boy goes there to see (along with the useless kachadawal) it he can ignite the situation and make it big and difficult to manage. This is what these two (mummy and dummy) are doing for India from where they have already earned (looted) zillions. Hope Jesus can save poor Indians from this stinking satans of Italy.
            Reply
            1. V
              Vineetz
              Jun 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm
              What the are you talking about. Whats wrong with you morons who keep on making up py stories and allegations that makes no sense. How DUMB are you people? Sometimes i get a fee if youre even humans or just prohrammed robots cause you dont have the minimum iq of normal human and neither do you even make any sense of what you say. WTF is wrong with you dip s?
              Reply
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                Anand Prakash
                Jun 8, 2017 at 2:05 pm
                You sanghi kisser do you have any intelligence? Further, mummy and dummy is infinitely better and preferable to your FEKU who does not know what he promises.
                Reply
              2. G
                Goutam
                Jun 8, 2017 at 10:11 am
                The nasty politics of Congress persisting since independence to provocat the innocent people against the Govt to establish their existence by any means. It is a factor of such painful cir stances the other is waiver of loan announced recently in UP. It is a resultant effect of the above two reasons. Waiver of loan to any cl irrespective of their financial ability to repay will encourage their habit to claim for waiver. In fact the loan waiver will affect the progress of the country and unnecessary burden upon the common people. The election commission should restrict all the political parties to refrain them such loan waiver announcement during any election.
                Reply
                1. M
                  Mathura
                  Jun 8, 2017 at 10:23 am
                  Modi did exatly same things as CM of Gujrat during terrorist attack in Mumbai, Opposed every measure of progress which today he is claiming as success be it GST, AADHAAR, Manrega, Claimed to provide thing which farmers are agitating for today, went to uttarakhand during natural calamity of Kedar Nath to list a few. He claimed 15 lakhs to all Indians withinn 15 days of coming to power.
                  Reply
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                    Anand Prakash
                    Jun 8, 2017 at 2:09 pm
                    I am certain that even in these trying cir stances no farmer would like to change places with you and become a paid sanghi troll. It would insult their intelligence - your comment amply proves that you have none of it like your sanghi masters who are totally incompetent and merely heap blame for their inap ude on other parties. Grow up and get your icon to grow up and behave in a mature manner.
                    Reply
                  2. Y
                    Yawar Masood
                    Jun 8, 2017 at 9:45 am
                    More achhey din ahead...
                    Reply
                    1. V
                      Vijay A
                      Jun 8, 2017 at 9:23 am
                      Joseph, who the heell are you to tell us who belongs to this country and who not. Did you or your father fight for the freedom of this country? Don't spit your non-sense here. You are an ISI funded trout, ruining the country internally by making people fight and hate each other. We love living with muslims and other communities and they love living with us. Only one hated by us all is you and friends - parasites pretending to be nationalists.
                      Reply
                      1. J
                        jackal
                        Jun 8, 2017 at 1:44 pm
                        We all need to fight hate mongers unitedly. We are all in a sinking ship. Unless we all try and save this ship, we will all be doomed. Loan waiver in one state will lead to demand for the same in all states. A compensation of 1 cr is a knee jerk reaction. Same compensation should be accorded to all riot victims, accident victims (whereever govt. is involved), police firing for whatever reason, death in natural calamities, et all. Look at the past three days reaction of the govt. They change color more swiftly than a chameleon.
                        Reply
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