Days before the first anniversary of the farmers’ unrest at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, during which five protesters were killed in police firing, hundreds of villagers in the area have been asked by the administration to submit bonds of “good behaviour” — an undertaking to maintain peace in the area.
This comes at a time when many farmers’ organisations have given a call for street protests from June 1 to 10 and asked farmers and vendors not to sell produce and essential commodities to highlight problems faced by farmers and observe the first anniversary of the June 6 incident.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will hold a rally near Pipliya Mandi, where the firing took place, on June 6. In a bid to create an atmosphere in favour of the government, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is likely to hold a rally in Mandsaur on May 30.
The administration has identified nearly 1,200 people who could create trouble either because of their past record or because they are in touch with agitators. Hundreds of them have been asked to sign bonds under Section 107 of CrPC (security for keeping peace), violation of which could lead to forfeiture of the bond amount and a possible jail term.
“Whoever is likely to create trouble has been given notice. Can’t relatives of those who died last year engage in disruptive activities?” said Additional SP Sundersingh Kanesh. He said a majority of those who got notices have past criminal records.
Kanesh said those who try to take law into their hands by stopping people from moving or forcing them to spill milk or vegetables will be strictly dealt with.
Madhusudan Patidar, step-brother of Abhishek, who died in the firing, is among those who received notices. “We are not going to move out even if we are asked to take part in the agitation. But if farmers want to protest, how can they be stopped?’’ Abhishek’s father Dinesh Patidar told The Indian Express over phone. He said that besides Madhusudan, who has been asked to sign a bond of Rs 25,000, four cousins of Abhishek have got notices.
Mandsaur collector O P Srivastava said potential trouble-makers have been identified.