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Farmers' protest in MP: Rahul Gandhi leaves after being released from police custody in Mandsaur

Farmers' Protest, Which Entered Its The Eighth Day On Thursday, Is Likely To Remain A Sensitive Issue As There Was Little Hope For Settlement Of The Issue Was In Sight On Wednesday.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Arshi Aggarwal | Updated on: 08 Jun 2017, 05:45:18 PM
Rahul Gandhi detained by Police on his way to Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh  (ANI photo)

New Delhi:

Farmers' protest, which entered its the eighth day on Thursday, is likely to remain a sensitive issue as there was little hope for settlement of the issue was in sight on Wednesday. 


# 5:37 PM: Rahul Gandhi leaves after being released from custody

# 5:29 PM: MP police releases Rahul Gandhi 

#2:38 PM: MP Police arrests Rahul Gandhi under Section-151

The farmer movement in Madhya Pradesh moved into high political gear when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and other senior party leaders were detained by police when they tried to make their way to Mandsaur, ground zero of the protests. Police moved in to stop Gandhi as he defied elaborate security arrangements and tried to force his way into the state from Naya Gaon in Neemuch, about 400 km from the state capital Bhopal.

Surging crowds of Congress supporters followed him, shouting slogans like “Jai Jawaan, Jai Kisaan” and “Rahul Gandhi zindabad”. Hundreds of Congress workers, as well as senior leaders like Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot and Madhya Pradesh legislator Jaiwardhan Singh, also courted arrest. They were taken to the guesthouse of a cement company, a police official said.

Gandhi, also accompanied by senior party leaders Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath and Janata Dal-United’s Sharad Yadav, took the opportunity to hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He told reporters that Modi could waive loans worth Rs 1.50 lakh crore of the rich but not for farmers. “He can’t give the right rates for their agricultural produce, can’t give them bonus, can’t give compensation... He can only give them bullets.”

Lashing out at Centre and the Madhya Pradesh government, he blamed both Modi and Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan for the deaths of five farmers in Mandsaur on Tuesday. There was high drama as the police tried to stop what had turned into a rally of sorts with Gandhi leading from the front. When police tried to push him back, he ran into a field nearby from where he was detained.

#2:00 PM: He (Rahul Gandhi) has been detained. What was the emergency to go there now? He only wants to do politics: MP HM Bhupendra Singh

#1:25 PM: Rahul Gandhi detained by Police on his way to Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh 

The didn't give any reason, just said they are arresting me. The same was done in Uttar Pradesh also, Rahul Gandhi said after arrest. 

"Na kisaano ka karza maaf karte hain, na bonus dete; bas goliyaan dete hain (neither do they wave loan, nor give out bonus, they just fire bullets)"

#1:20 PM: Rahul Gandhi rides pillion on bike to enter protest zone, Police determined to stop him

Rahul Gandhi is riding pillion on a motorcycle after walking some distance to reach Mandsaur from Rajasthan’s Chittorgarh district. As he made his way to the epicentre of the farmers’ protest, the local police in Madhya Pradesh  made it clear that he will not be allowed to enter the district.

“Gandhi reached Udaipur from Delhi in a chartered plane and left for Madhya Pradesh by road.In Nimaheda town of Chittorgarh district, he rode pillion for 5-7 km and reached close to the border. After the bike ride, he walked toward the border, IG Udaipur Anand Srivastava told PTI.

The party sources close to PCC Chief sachin Pilot also said that Gandhi took motorcycle ride in Nimbaheda. Gandhi is accompanied by PCC Rajasthan chief Sachin Pilot and other party leaders, including Digvijay Singh, Girija Vyas, Kamalnath. Congressmen in several vehicles are accompanying Gandhi.

However, Superintendent of Police of Neemuch Manoj Kumar Singh said the Congress leader will not be allowed to enter the violence-hit district where the situation remains tense. If the Congress leader tries to enter the district, he will be detained, the SP said.

#1:15 PM: Rajasthan and MP govt preventing me from meeting farmers' families: Rahul Gandhi

#12:50 PM: Naidu accuses Congress of instigating and politicising farmers’ stir

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has accused the Congress of instigating and politicising farmers’ stir in Madhya Pradesh and termed Rahul Gandhi’s planned visit to the violence-hit Mandsaur as “another photo opportunity”. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Naidu also dismissed the Congress’ demand that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan step down from his post in view of the deaths of five protesting farmers in police firing.

Targeting the opposition party, he recalled an incident in the state’s Betul district on January 12, 1998, where 24 farmers died allegedly in police firing ordered by then chief minister and Congress leader Digvijay Singh.

“The Congress is instigating and politicising the issue.  It should stop doing that and behave as a responsible political party to help restore normalcy there,” Naidu said. He dubbed the party vice president’s planned visit to Mandsaur, the hotbed of the ongoing farmers’ agitation, as “yet another photo opportunity”.

On Chouhan’s resignation, Naidu questioned whether Singh had resigned from the post of chief minister after the farmers, who were seeking compensation after a hailstorm, were killed. “Did they seek resignation of Singh when the 24 farmers were killed? Did the Congress vice president visit the victim farmers then?” Naidu asked.

The minister described Chouhan as the most farmer-friendly chief minister and listed welfare measures taken by the BJP-led Centre and state government.

#12:40 PM: Give me 2 hrs, we are holding meeting. If situation is better than yesterday, will give orders in 1-2 hr: Om Prakash Srivastava, new Mandsaur DM

The situation in Mandsaur, ground zero of the farmer unrest where five people were killed, was “almost normal” today and curfew might be relaxed by evening, a senior official said. Internet services that had been suspended might also be restored, Divisional Commissioner M B Ojha told PTI.

“For the last two or three days, farmers were stopping vehicles and setting them on fire. No such incident has been reported today. The situation is almost normal,” he said. If the situation continued to be quiet, curfew, imposed in four police station areas, including Pipaliya Mandi where the firing took place, might be relaxed.

Vehicles that were burnt had been removed this morning from the highway and traffic had resumed. Asked to comment on the post-mortem report of the five people who had been killed in firing on Tuesday, the official said the matter was under investigation. Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were both at the spot.  However, he didn’t divulge any details.

The investigations, he indicated, revealed that the stone-pelters included boys between the ages of 16 and about 22. Some “anti-social elements” had joined in.

#12:30 PM: Total 62 people detained, more people are being identified based on videos and pictures

Seven cases have been lodged and 62 persons detained in connection with the farmers’ agitation in the violence-hit district, police said. Superintendent of Police Om Prakash Tripathi, who has been transferred in the wake of the firing in the district that left five farmers dead, said the cases have been filed in connection with various incidents of violence. Addressing a press conference along with the new Collector O P Srivastava, Tripathi said some persons have also been detained for heckling the previous Mandsaur Collector S K Singh in Berheda Pant area on Wednesday.

#11:00 AM: Govt admits that five farmers were killed in police firing

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh has said that the five casualties during farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur occurred during police firing. “Five persons were killed in police firing,” Singh told PTI over phone.

The minister’s remarks assume significance as the authorities had been claiming that the police had not fired during protests at Pipliamandi in Mandsaur district in which five farmers were killed two days ago.

Minutes after the incident, the then Mandsaur Collector S K Singh had told PTI that the police told him categorically that “neither did they fire nor did they have any orders to fire”. Asked what provoked the police to fire, the home minister said it is being probed in the magisterial inquiry. However, he said the situation was now peaceful in western Madhya Pradesh.

#10:00 AM: Congress VP Rahul Gandhi reaches Udaipur Airport, to leave for MP’s Mandsaur by road to meet kin of those killed during farmers’ agitation.

#9:00 AM: RAF deployed across agitation sites

Contingents of Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in Madhya Pradesh’s violence-hit Mandsaur district where the situation remained tense. Two companies of RAF, comprising around 100 men each, have moved into Pipliamandi in Mandsaur, the site of Tuesday’s shooting of five farmers, police said.

While two companies of RAF have been posted in Garoth area in the district, another two have been deployed along the Mwoh-Neemuch Highway to prevent any untoward incidents, they said. The situation is tense but under control, police said.

DIG Ratlam range Avinash Sharma is camping in Pipliamandi where farmers, agitating for the last seven days for loan waiver and better crop prices, defied prohibitory orders yesterday, beat up officials and policemen and resorted to violence and arson. Senior police officials have also been deployed to oversee the law and order situation in all sub-divisions of Mandsaur district, the official said.

#8:00 AM: Officials transferred 

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has transferred the collector and superintendent of police of Mandsaur district which witnessed the death of five farmers in police firing. Mandsaur Collector Swatantra Kumar Singh is transferred as deputy secretary Mantralaya. Singh was replaced with OP Shrivastava, official sources said. The government also transferred Mandsaur SP, OP Tripathi and posted Manoj Kumar Singh in place of him, the sources added.

#7:00 AM: Rahul Gandhi visit, officials to block him 

 Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi left Delhi for Mandsaur where five farmers were killed during protests earlier this week even as the local police made it clear that he will not be allowed to enter the district. Gandhi left this morning for the district and would enter Madhya Pradesh from Rajasthan.

However, Superintendent of Police of Neemuch Manoj Kumar Singh said the Congress leader will not be allowed to enter the violence-hit district where the situation remains tense. If the Congress leader tries to enter the district, he will be detained, the SP said.

The Congress on Wednesday termed as “coldblooded murder” the killing of five farmers in police firing in Madhya Pradesh and questioned the prime minister’s silence over it. The Congress accused the BJP of “acting as a curse of death for Indian farmers”.

#6:00 AM: Bus operators have decided to go on strike after the violence in which several public, private and government vehicles were torched on Wednesday

Suggested read: Farmers’ Protest in Madhya Pradesh: Why Mandsaur is burning? Here are the four demands by farmers

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.

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First Published : 08 Jun 2017, 08:55:00 AM