Following the violent turn of events at the Mandsaur farmer agitation in Madhya Pradesh, the state government on Thursday removed Superintendent of Police O P Tripathi and the district collector Swatantra Kumar Singh. Both were heckled a day before by the family of a protesting farmer killed allegedly in police firing. Om Prakash Srivastava has been appointed as the new collector, news agency ANI reported.
Five farmers were killed in two separate incidents of firing near the Pipliya Mandi police station on Tuesday while protesting in support of their demand for loan waiver and better crop prices. The union government has rushed 1,100 personnel of anti-riot Rapid Action Force (RAF) to the violence-hit state.
The farmers have been agitating since June 1 and blocking road and rail traffic across the state. Nearly two dozen vehicles were set on fire in 24 hours on the stretch between Mandsaur and Pipliya Mandi. The area has become the epicentre of the violent protests and the five farmers who were killed were also from this area. Protesters defied curfew and indulged in arson and violence on Wednesday as well leading to tension in Mandsaur and the nearby district of Neemuch.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a compensation of Rs. 1 crore to the kin of those killed in the violence. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is on his way to visit the family members of the killed farmers on Thursday. While BJP has hit back saying the visit is to “politicise the death of the farmers,” Congress leaders have said Rahul wants to visit the bereaving families to assure them unlike PM Narendra Modi, who has maintained silence on the issue.