Curfew will be relaxed for 12 hours on Saturday in Mandsaur city and Pipliamandi as the situation improved in these areas hit by violent protests by farmers but police said restrictions on the movement of people will continue. Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Singh said no untoward incident was reported during curfew relaxation from 10 am to 6 pm on Friday. Curfew will be eased from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday. However, no protest, rally or demonstration will be allowed during the curfew relaxation period, including on June 11 when farmers have announced a protest, Collector O P Srivastava said.
As shops reopened, locals stepped out to stock essentials like vegetables and milk. Long queues were also seen outside petrol pumps. Mandsaur, the epicentre of the agitation, has remained relatively peaceful even as farmer protests have spilled over into new areas of Madhya Pradesh. Singh said they will not let their guard down and strict action will be taken against those who try to violate prohibitory orders under CrPC 144 which bans assembly of more than four persons. Special permission will be required for weddings or other functions.
At least 156 people have been arrested and 40 cases registered in connection with violence during the farmer’s agitation here. The SP said police is trying to identify the culprits by going through the video clips of the incidents of violence. The Centre had rushed 1,100 personnel of the RAF to the violence-hit state. Two companies of the RAF, each comprising 100 personnel, were deployed in Pipliamandi in Mandsaur, where five farmers were killed in police firing on Tuesday. Two RAF companies were deployed along the highway. Contingents of the CRPF have also been deployed.