Police did not fire on protesting farmers: MP Home Minister

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

When Mandsaur Collector S K Singh and Superintendent of Police Omprakash Tripathi reached the spot to mollify the protesters, the farmers allegedly manhandled the administrative officer.

"Someone from the crowd fired at our men and they retaliated". A judicial probe has been ordered in the matter.

The deceased were identified as Kanhaiyalal Patidar, Bablu Patidar, Chain Singh Patidar, Abhishek Patidar and Satynarayan.

While the Congress called for State bandh on Wednesday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan blamed the Opposition party for instigating the violence. But this was dismissed as too little too late with all farmer organisations joining in the protest now, and extending support and active participating in the strike tomorrow. "Farmers' demands are genuine", Scindia added.

Congress leader K. K. Mishra told ANI that if the government can bring the farmers back to life, then the grand old party is ready to give Rs. five crore to the government. Congress has conspired to turn this peaceful protest into violence.

"On Monday night, farmers stationed near the Dalauda police station came out on the roads to protest and vandalised a railway crossing".

The CM announced a financial help of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased.

After the meeting, the CM tweeted, "I am happy the farmers have chose to withdraw the strike". Do not fall in the trap of anyone.

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Farmers are angry because the government neither made arrangements to procure the crop on time nor intervened to ensure a reasonable price. "We will solve all problems through discussion", Chouhan tweeted.

The farmers for the past five days have been on the streets to highlight their demands, including loan waiver and fair price for produce. "On getting the information, police reached the spot and tried to disperse the protesters but the farmers threw stones at them injuring two policemen", said Ratlam sub-divisional magistrate Neha Bhartiya.

AAP Madhya Pradesh in-charge Gopal Rai said the incident reflected anti-farmer mentality of the BJP who remembered farmers only during elections. He said it was possible that some residents shot at the agitating farmers.

"This is very sad that the Chief Minister acted like the General Dyer". Our government since the day one is taking pro farmer initiative.

The Congress leader said that the incident was "unfortunate" and extended his deepest sympathies to the bereaved families.

"The Congress Party expresses its condolence on this incident". Singh and the state Congress chief would visit Mandsaur today. But, he said, the reality was that input costs were rising and government failed to ensure remunerative price. The farmers are affected most by the demonetisation drive. The police lathi-charged a group of farmers who had assembled in the city and were damaging public property.

The farmers also gathered at Choithram mandi (market) in Indore to protest.

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