On the seventh day of farmers’ agitation on Wednesday, widespread violence, including several incidents of arson, were reported from western Madhya Pradesh, especially Mandsaur and Dewas districts.
The Centre rushed 1,100 anti-riots police personnel to Mandsaur district where five persons were killed on Tuesday allegedly in police firing.
Though the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore each for the families of five farmers, it didn’t seem to have mollified the protesters who are demanding better prices for their produce and a complete farm loan waiver.
The BJP government also announced a loan-settlement scheme which it said will cover around six lakh farmers with accumulated dues of Rs 6,000 crore.
The government is contemplating a formula wherein it may waive interest on crop loans. Also, an Agricultural Costs and Marketing Commission to ensure better prices for farm produce would be set up, minister Archana Chitnis said after attending a meeting chaired by chief minister Chouhan.
The bandh called by the main Opposition Congress received a mixed response.
Curfew remained in force at Pipaliya Mandi area—where five farmers were killed and six others were injured yesterday -- and in Mandsaur town. Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC are still on in place in rest of the district, Inspector General of Police V Madhukumar said.
The six injured persons were out of danger while the slain farmers were cremated, Madhukumar told PTI.
Tension prevailed in Mandsaur town again today, where all business establishments and offices remained closed. Police detained the former Mandsaur MP Meenakshi Natrajan who was not allowed to enter the district to meet families of the slain farmers.
Mandsaur collector S K Singh was heckled when he tried to persuade protesters to lift road blockade in Berheda Pant area.
Shops were torched in Suasara town in the district.
Inspector Shyambabu Sharma of Suasara police station
received head injuries when the police were trying to bring under control a mob which was throwing stones at Guratiya Pratap square.
A warehouse was set ablaze in Badi Choupati area and Mhow-Neemuch highway was blocked for hours in Mandsaur.
In Dewas district, protesters threw stones and set on fire four passenger buses running between Indore-Bhopal and eight other vehicles in Newari Fata area. Passengers in the buses got down and were safe, but Indore-Bhopal bus services were suspended.
A mob also torched vehicles parked outside the Hat Pipaliya police station in Dewas district.
Protesting Congress workers stopped a train in Dewas.
Shops and offices in Neemuch district adjoining Mandsaur
also remained shut. Protesters set on fire a police outpost in Harkiya Khal Phanta area.
In Ujjain district, around 10 policemen, including Mahal Kal police station’s inspector Ajeet Tiwari, were injured in stone-pelting.
Protesters threw vegetables and fruits on road in Sanwer and Simrol areas of Indore and emptied milk containers.
In Khargone district, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh workers led by Gopal Patidar burnt an effigy of state home minister Bhupendra Singh in protest of alleged police firing in Mandsaur.
In Sehore district, car of additional collector of Barwani district Jayendra Kumar was pelted with stones. Protesters blocked the Indore-Bhopal highway at Ashta.
Violence was also reported from Dhar, while other areas of the state remained peaceful.
Congress legal cell chairman and Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha announced that the party would extend legal help to 450-odd farmers against whom “false cases” have been registered during the agitation.