A protesting farmer died in police firing in Bareli town of Madhya Pradesh in Raisen district on Monday while many,including government officials,were injured in violence as the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) and the Congress blamed the ruling BJP for delay in procurement of wheat.
Victim Harisingh,a 35-year-old former sarpanch,was among a group of farmers who blocked traffic,responding to a call given by the BKS,a farmers body affiliated to the Sangh Parivar.
The shortage of gunny bags,for which the state and central governments have blamed each other,has caused havoc at procurement centres.
The situation has been compounded by unseasonal rains over the past few days making the wheat growers apprehensive about whether their produce,lying in the open,will be declared low quality and not purchased by the government.
Bhagwan Singh Rajput,a farmer who was not able to sell his wheat for past several days,allegedly committed suicide in Barni Jagir village of Raisen on Sunday though the administration came out with a different version attributing the death to food poisoning.
Mondays protests though planned a day in advance by the BKS took a turn for the worse after the alleged suicide leading to a road blockade and torching of government vehicles. The Bareli town was put under curfew after the violence that left many persons,including policemen,injured. The police had first lobbed teargas shells before resorting to firing in the air.
Without naming the BKS,BJP state chief Prabhat Jha announced that the government will not spare those found responsible for instigating the farmers.
Several farmers have been rounded up for the violence but the situation continued to be tense in several places. The MP government has already extended the last date of procurement to May 31 announcing that no farmer will return disappointed.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan,while announcing Rs 2 lakh compensation for the death,ordered a high level probe into the incidents in Raisen.