Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has reached Mandsaur to meet the families of farmers who were killed during police firing last week. Chouhan will first visit Badwan village. Meanwhile, section 144 has been revoked ahead of the chief minister’s visit. Farmers have been protesting in Mandsaur since June 1, demanding loan waivers and higher remunerative prices for their crops. The protests took a turn for the worse when the police fired on protesters killing six farmers and injuring eight in two separate incidents in Mandsaur. The protesters also resorted to looting and arson in several districts. Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits more than four people from gathering in a place, was imposed in the area soon after along with a curfew.
On Saturday, Chouhan sat on an indefinite fast in Bhopal appealing for peace in the region and attempting to calm down rising tempers. “I slept intermittently and all that while I kept thinking about what all topics – out of the ones we discussed with the farmers – can be worked upon as soon as possible,” Chouhan told news agency ANI on Sunday. He called off his fast at Bhopal’s Dussehra Maidan on Sunday.
“We will make the state land use advisory service so that farmers get correct and timely information about climate change. I promise that along with BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will irrigate every land. We have decided to implement every policy with the consent of farmers,” he was quoted as saying by ANI before breaking his fast.
On Monday, the Madhya Pradesh government also appointed a single-member commission to inquire into the police firing incident that took place on June 6. Retired High Court judge Justice J K Jain would chair this Commission of Inquiry. “The commission headquarters will be at Indore and it will submit its report in three months,” a state public relations department official said.
Congress leaders who tried to visit Mandsaur during the agitation were stopped at the border. Rahul Gandhi, who tried to visit the city last week, was detained for a few hours at a local guest house. On Tuesday, Jyotiraditya Scindia Congress’s chief whip in Lok Sabha, and Gujarat-based Patidar leader Hardik Patel were on Tuesday stopped from visiting relatives of farmers who died in police firing.
An FIR was registered against Congress MLA from Shivpuri Shakuntala Khatik and Venus Goyal in Karera police station in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday on charges of inciting violence among protesters. A video had emerged of the Congress MLA urging the protesters to burn the police station down. The Congress’ Shivpuri MLA was seen in a video repeatedly inciting people to accompany her to burn down a nearby police station, whereas a police official was seen requesting the MLA to calm down.