Mandsaur continues to burn as farmers agitation refuses to die down. Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh are protesting since June 1 demanding debt relief and higher minimum support prices (MSP) for their crops, among other things.
On Tuesday five people were killed in firing following which MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the kin of the deceased. According to eyewitnesses, the protesting farmers torched vehicles and indulged in stone pelting in Parshvanath area under Pipaliya Mandi police station limits.
Curfew remained in force in Pipalya Mandi police station area of the district and Mandsaur town, while prohibitory orders restricting movement under section 144 of CrPC are also imposed in the rest of the district.
Farmers assembled in large numbers and blocked a road on Wednesday in Berkheda Panth area, around 18 kms from Mandsaur.
When Mandsaur District Magistrate SK Singh and Superintendent of Police Omprakash Tripathi reached the spot to mollify the protesters, the farmers allegedly manhandled the administrative officer.
As District Magistrate SK Singh was contacted for his reaction, he refused to comment on the incident. When asked if the police will take action against those who misbehaved with him, the district magistrate had said that it was the law-enforcers' job.
Although reports have claimed that vehicles were burnt and railway tracks destroyed by farmers, Ujjain Range Inspector General of Police V Madhukumar said that the situation is now under control.Mobile and Internet services have however been suspended in Mandsaur, Ratlam and Neemuch districts.
Meanwhile, Congress has called for a bandh on Wednesday which affected some western parts of the state. However, petrol pumps, markets and other establishments remained open in Bhopal. The Center and Shivraj Singh Chouhan have consistently blamed the Congress for instigating farmers in Madhya Pradesh
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu criticised the Congress and claimed that they were trying to politicise farmers' problems after failing to counter Shivraj Singh Chouhan politically in the state.
The minister further said that Madhya Pradesh was amongst the best performing states on all counts and Chouhan one of the BJP's best chief ministers.
Venkaiah Naidu also claimed that farmers never resort to violence on their own and warned Congress not to fuel violence in the name of Congress. He also blamed Congress for long years of neglect of farmers and the agricultural sector in the country.
The Congress, on the other hand, claimed that the governemnt is feeding farmers'bullets for demanding their rights. Further, they claimed that the government is at war with the farmers of the country.
As the farmers' protests gathered heat, PM Narendra Modi called an emergency meeting to address the issue. Further, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi too is set to visit Mandsaur on Thursday.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier said that his government is taking all necessary steps to address the issues of agitating farmers.