Preventive arrests have started in Mandsaur, where five farmers were shot dead on June 6, to scuttle a march planned by 130 farmers’ organisations on July 6. The march, called the Kisan Mukti Yatra, was planned from Bahi Chowpati in Mandsaur district where the first incident of firing took place. From there, the farmer leaders had planned to walk towards Pipliya Mandi town, another site of firing. But Mandsaur collector O P Shrivastava said that the administration had denied permission for gatherings at both places.
The 130 farmers organisations were to gather under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC). On Wednesday, the police detained former MLA and member of AIKSCC Suneelam and the administration said more arrests would follow because the organisers had not cancelled Thursday’s events and leaders were egging on farmers from villages to which the firing victims belonged to turn up at Bahi and Pipliya Mandi.
Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav and Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana leader Raju Shetty are expected to participate in Thursday’s events but the administration said they would be detained too. The AIKSCC had announced that in the first phase the yatra would begin from Mandsaur on July 6 and culminate at New Delhi on July 18 after passing through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
AIKSCC leader Jaswinder Singh said besides loan waiver and minimum support price of 1.5 times the input costs, other demands include registration of FIRs against police officers who allegedly fired at protesters, an inquiry by a sitting judge or shifting of the headquarters of the probe ordered by the government from Indore to Pipliya Mandi to facilitate more farmers to depose.