In the wake of escalating farmers’ agitation, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said he will sit on a fast on Saturday in order to bring about peace and that he will hear grievances of the agitated farmers, who have been protesting since June 1 demanding loan waiver and better prices for the farm produce, among other things. “I will sit on a fast in the open and run my government so that farmers can approach me for discussion,” Chouhan told a press meet.
Putting emphasis on law and order, the Madhya Pradesh CM stated that negative elements will be dealt with strongly and claimed that some people have handed over stones to youth.
On Tuesday, protests turned violent as five farmers were killed and six others injured in police firing in Mandsaur district, the epicentre of agitation. The agitation showed no signs of abating with the farmers protests reaching the doorsteps of the state capital Bhopal on Friday. Incidents of arson and stone-pelting were reported in Fanda area. In response, police baton-charged the protesters and arrested at least 27 of them in the area, some 20 km outside Bhopal.
Meanwhile, a political slugfest has erupted over the issue with the Congress blaming the Chouhan-led government of neglecting farmers’ issues and the ruling BJP accusing the opposition party of fueling protests.
In the wake of the prevailing situation, around 1,300 personnel of the paramilitary force were sent to Madhya Pradesh to help the state government restore peace and bring back normalcy.
With inputs from agencies