A 26-year-old farmer died in Badavan village of violence-hit Mandsaur district, with locals on Friday alleging that he was beaten up by policemen.
In Indore, sources in MY Hospital, where the farmer was taken on Thursday night, said he was brought dead and that his body bore signs of assault. However, police said the circumstances of his death were unclear and they were investigating the matter.
This is the sixth death of farmer reported in the district. Violence has rocked the district after five farmers were killed in police firing in the district on Tuesday.
According to villagers, the farmer Ghanashyam Dhakad was on his way to a temple last evening when some policemen stopped him and thrashed him with sticks.
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The farmer was taken to the MY Hospital in Indore where he died, they said. Mandsaur SP Manoj Kumar Singh and Collector O P Srivastava reached the spot on Friday and talked to villagers there.
The collector said the cause of his death was being investigated. Angry villagers in the area claimed that they were being beaten up and arrested by the police without cause. The SP assured them that their grievances would be looked into.
Former MP and Congress national secretary Sajjan Singh Verma reached the hospital on Friday and demanded a probe into the matter. He alleged that the farmer was beaten to death.
Three associates of the farmer - Dinesh Malwi, Shivnarayan Malwi and Ganesh Malwi - are also missing, the Congress leader alleged. He said police should find out their whereabouts. He also demanded a murder case be registered against the SP in the matter.
A panel should be formed to carry out the postmortem and the entire process should be videographed, he said. Former Congress MP Meenakshi Natarajan, who is at the spot, said she would meet the SP to demand compensation for the deceased farmer.