Madhya Pradesh farmers protest highlights: Rahul Gandhi meets families of Mandsaur victims, CM Chouhan ‘open for talks’

Hindustan Times, Mandsaur/Bhopal | ByPunya Priya Mitra and Ranjan
Jun 09, 2017 01:39 PM IST

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who was arrested on Thursday for violating section 144 imposed in Mandsaur, was released at Doria on Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border where he met the families of the farmers killed in police.

Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur witnessed a high-voltage political confrontation on Thursday as Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was arrested after attempting to jump a barrier to enter the town rocked by violent farmer protests over loan waivers and better crop prices.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi after being released by the Madhya Pradesh police at Rajasthan border.(INC)
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi after being released by the Madhya Pradesh police at Rajasthan border.(INC)

He was later released at Doria on Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border where he met the families of the farmers killed in the police firing.

The Congress leader, accompanied by state leaders Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath and JD (U)’s Sharad Yadav, was put on a bus and sent to a guesthouse in Neemuch.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he was open for talks with the agitators as violence spread across the state. Congress workers staged protests in several states while opposition parties escalated attack on the Chouhan government.

Here are the highlights of the day:

8.20pm: Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia says while farmers are being shot in the country, those shouting slogans supporting Pakistan are spared.

“In Madhya Pradesh, farmers fighting for their right to survive were shot down (in police firing on Tuesday). But we do not kill people in Kashmir valley who shout `Pakistan Zindabad’,” says the VHP leader.

7.45pm: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad condemned the police firing on agitating farmers in Madhya Pradesh and urged the central government to “urgently” take measures like “total waiver of loans”.

7.34pm: The Union agriculture minister slams Congress indirectly for doing drama over the Mandsaur incident, says they are the ones to blame for the present situation.

7.32pm: Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said the Mandsaur incident unfortunate. “The central government has implemented many schemes for benefit of farmers,” Singh told ANI.

7pm: Five farmers in Mandsaur killed due to police firing, Madhya Pradesh government tells Centre, ending the confusion over who opened fire on the victims.

6.26pm: Rahul Gandhi backs families’ demand for status of martyr to the farmers killed in Mandsaur.

Rahul Gandhi with the families of farmers killed in the Mandsaur firing. (Indian National Congress. )
Rahul Gandhi with the families of farmers killed in the Mandsaur firing. (Indian National Congress. )

6.25pm: The government waives loans of the top 50 rich men of the country but not of the farmers, Rahul Gandhi said before leaving for Udaipur.

6.22pm: “I am being stopped everywhere from UP to MP. I just wanted to meet the family of the deceased. Don’t I have the right? The MP government has created problems for everyone,” says Rahul Gandhi.

6.18pm: Rahul Gandhi meets families of deceased at Doria on Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border and discusses prices of vegetables and produce.

5.45pm: Youth Congress blocked NH 31 in Assam’s Barpeta district and demonstrated against BJP government at the Centre and death of five farmers in MP.

5.35pm: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury criticised the Madhya Pradesh government, saying “Are people paying the Krishi Kalyan cess so the government could buy bullets to shoot farmers?”

5.33pm: Madhya Pradesh government is open for dialogue with agitating farmers, says chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

5.30pm: Rahul Gandhi, who was arrested for violating Section 144 in Mandasur, has been released by the Madhya Pradesh police. He will meet families of victims at Rajasthan border.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi after being released by Madhya Pradesh police at Rajasthan border. (INC)
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi after being released by Madhya Pradesh police at Rajasthan border. (INC)

5.12pm: The Aam Aadmi Party lashed out at the Madhya Pradesh state government for detaining Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. The party is sending a delegation of leaders on Friday to meet families of farmers killed in Mandsaur.

5.11pm: The Congress alleges the local administration has taken the families to the border of Rajasthan to prevent Rahul Gandhi from meeting them in Madhya Pradesh.

5.10pm: Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar accuses the Congress of conspiring to instigate violence in Mandsaur, says its vice president Rahul Gandhi’s decision to visit the state a part of his “irresponsible behaviour”.

5pm: As curfew relaxed between 4pm and 6pm, residents throng market to purchase essential items.

Residents purchase essential items after curfew relaxed for two hours in Mandsaur. (ANI)
Residents purchase essential items after curfew relaxed for two hours in Mandsaur. (ANI)

4.52pm: Some forces have fuelled the agitation. “Inquiry is on, wait for the report to come,” says the home minister.

4.48pm: Home minister Rajnath Singh addresses a press meet in Mumbai, says said the NDA-BJP govt won’t break the farmers’ trust.

4.30pm: Police and Congress leaders reach compromise. Rahul Gandhi and other leaders will be escorted past the border into Rajasthan, where they are expected to meet families of the victims.

4.30pm: Rahul Gandhi refuses bail, asks to speak to families of victims.

4. 25pm: Rahul Gandhi says he spoke to the families of the deceased farmers on phone and conveyed condolences. “I’m here to meet them and will not be deterred from voicing their concerns,” said the Congress leader.

4.18pm: In Raisen district, protesters block national highway 12 and burn the effigy of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

4.17pm: In Jhabua district, farmers block roads in Kodli and Karvad areas.

4.16pm: Fresh protests break out in Shajapur district. Thousands of protesting farmers block procurement of onions, block National highway, and torch truck and motorcycle. Stone pelting reported.

Violent protests spread to Madhya Pradesh’s Shajapur district. (HT Photo)
Violent protests spread to Madhya Pradesh’s Shajapur district. (HT Photo)

4.15pm: Pilot, the Rajasthan Congress chief, says they are in Mandsaur only to express solidarity with them and appeal for calm and peace but police are using brute force.

4.13pm: “Families of victims are hardly 1 km away from us, they want to meet us but police is stopping them,” Sachin Pilot told ANI.

4.10pm: Family members of deceased farmers’ wait to meet Rahul Gandhi outside premises where the Congress vice president has been kept.

3.55pm:Rahul Gandhi says the Congress has stood with the farmers from the fields to Parliament. “Their fight is our fight. Their victory is our victory,” said the Congress vice president, who has been arrested for violating section 144 in Mandsaur.

3.50pm: Rahul Gandhi speaks to family members of deceased farmers’ on phone. He won’t be returning without meeting the farmers, ANI reports quoting sources.

3.47pm: Former Congress MP Meenakshi Natrajan brings family members of Kanhaiyalal Patidar -- who was killed in police firing in Mandsaur -- to Neemuch guest house. Police don’t allow them inside.


3:05pm: “Always ready to resolve issues by talks and discussions. Anti social elements are trying to bring instability will be strictly dealt with,” says MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

3:00pm: Curfew to be relaxed for women and children from 4 pm to 6 pm in Mandsaur: sub-divisional magistrate of Mandsaur NS Rajawat.

2:16pm: Bail proceedings for Rahul Gandhi and others to begin anytime now.

2:15pm: Neemuch district administration has declared Vikram Cement factory’s guest house as a jail and arrested Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Yadav, Kamal Nath, Sachin Pilot, Girija Vyas and others for breaching peace and the prohibitory orders issued under section 144 of CrPC

2:10pm: Fresh protests in Ujjain district as farmers block national highway.

2:08pm: Rahul Gandhi arrested for violating section 144, says additional director general of police V Madhu Kumar.

2:04pm: Indian Youth Congress leaders organsie ‘Rail Roko’ (stop the trains) protest at Mumbai’s Ghatkopar railway station in support of farmers’ protests in Mandsaur.


2:00pm: “He (Rahul Gandhi) behaved like a college student. He was riding a bike without wearing a helmet. He was smiling and did not look concerned over farmers’ problems,” says home minister of Madhya Pradesh Bhupendra Singh.

1:55pm: Hundreds of local Congress leaders mobbed Rahul Gandhi to take a selfie after he landed in Udaipur.

1:41pm: We have been fighting for farmers. Why don’t they waive farm loans, asks Digvijaya Singh

1:40pm: Rahul Gandhi, Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Sharad Yadav and Sachin Pilot detained at Vikram Cement factory’s guesthouse in Neemuch.


1:32pm: Narendra Modi has forgiven the debt of India’s richest, but he couldn’t forgive the farmers’ debt. He could only give them the bullets: Rahul Gandhi.

1:30pm: “I wanted to meet the farmers. I have been arrested but not given any reason,” Gandhi adds.

Rahul Gandhi being stopped by police from entering Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. (Twitter/INC)
Rahul Gandhi being stopped by police from entering Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. (Twitter/INC)

1:29pm: “If your thought does not meet that of the RSS, you cannot enter Madhya Pradesh,” Rahul Gandhi to reporters.

1:15pm: Rahul Gandhi detained at Mandsaur border, put on a bus to an unknown location.


1:06pm: High drama at Mandsaur border. Rahul Gandhi jumps over barricade and enters district. Police team intercepts him and tries to push him back. He is accompanied by around 100 supporters.

1:01pm: “Raj & MP Govts are doing their best to prevent me from entering MP & meeting the families of the #farmers killed in #Mandsaur,” tweets Rahul Gandhi.

12:58pm: Rahul Gandhi around 100 metres from the checkpost outside Mandsaur district. Party leaders Kamal Nath and others locked in a heated dispute with administration. Around 200 party workers follow them.

12:52pm: Congress leader Shobha Oza: Rahul Gandhi is heading towards Mandsaur on foot and workers are following him.

12:49pm: Give me 2 hrs, we are holding meeting. If situation is better than y’day,will give orders in 1-2 hr: Om Prakash Srivastava, new Mandsaur district magistrate on curfew orders

12:46pm: Police seal all borders to Mandsaur, say won’t let Rahul Gandhi enter district

12:41pm: Sources say Rahul Gandhi has got off the motorcycle and is walking with supporters towards a new checkpost set up by police. Scuffles between police and Congress workers reported.

12:39pm: Sources say Rahul Gandhi intends to visit the home of Chain Singh, one of the five farmers killed in police firing on Tuesday.

12:38pm: More than 11,000 rapid action force personnel deployed across the state.

12:37pm: New district magistrate of Mandsaur says he is facing a “challenging situation”. “I am trying to understand the situation,” he adds.

12:34pm: Rahul Gandhi said to be heading towards Mandsaur on a kutcha route through villages

12:24pm: Administration and police flustered at Rahul Gandhi’s move

12:23pm: Congress workers present in huge numbers at Nimbaheda to greet and welcome Rahul Gandhi

12:21pm: Nimbaheda is about 12 kilometres ahead of Neemuch, one of the many centres of violence

12:20pm: Congress using farmer’s protest as a “photo-op”, says Venkaiah Naidu, dismisses demands for MP CM’s resignation

12:16pm: Special protection group accompanying Congress V-P confirms Rahul Gandhi is trying to enter Mandsaur district via Nimbaheda.

12:10pm: Rahul Gandhi changes route, now en route Mandsaur on a motorbike, say sources and journalists accompanying him. Rapid Action Force and police leave Nayagaon checkpost to intercept Congress leader

12:07pm: FIR lodged, some pople detained in connection with the heckling of Mandsaur collector.

12:05pm:More than 1,000 police personnel and paramilitary forces jawans at Nayagaon, Neemuch to prevent Rahul Gandhi’s entry.

12:00pm: A cement factory’s rest house in Neemuch to be treated as temporary jail where Rahul Gandhi might be lodged in case police arrest him, an administrative official says.

11:55am: 62 people detained in connection with farmers’ protest in Mandsaur, police officlas say.

11:53am: Curfew will be relaxed in Mandsaur in the evening, says administration.

11:40am: Madhya Pradesh BJP vice-president Vijesh Lunawat fires salvo on Rahul Gandhi. Tweets and asks ‘where were you when 3.25 lakh farmers committed suicide during Congress rule?’

11:37am: 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.

11:36am: 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.

11:32am: Chief secretary Madhya Pradesh BP Singh tells media, “Situation is under control in entire state”.

11:27am: Meeting among farmers in Punjab to push for loan waiver, better prices. Express support for protesting Madhya Pradesh farmers.

11:24am: “Death of the 5 farmers was due to Police firing. It has been established in probe: MP HM Bhupendra Singh .Why did he mislead us ?” tweets Digvijaya Singh.

11:21am: “Congress VP had predicted that #Demonitisation would hit the farmers hard when Modi ji made the announcement,” says Congress.

11:18am: “Modi Govt’s Demonetisation first killed the farm economy and now they are killing the farmers,” says Congress.

11:05am: “This photo-op tourism will not benefit Rahul Gandhi at all,” Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tells TV news channel.

11:03am: Number of transport vehicles reduced on the Bhopal-Indore highway after violence in Dewas on Wednesday.

11:02am: JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav, Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Mohan Prakash are accompanying Rahul Gandhi.

11:00am: Prohibitory orders issued under section 144 of CrPC in Neemuch ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s visit.

10:58am: Five farmers died in Mandsaur due to police firing, probe has confirmed: State home minister

10:45am: Toll plaza vandalised in Mandsaur, Rs 8-10 lakh looted.

10:41am: Additional director general of police V Madhu Kumar and other senior police officers have reached Nayagaon. Full preparation to stop Rahul Gandhi at the border.

10:40am: Heavy police force deployed in Neemuch. Two layers of barricading on the main road in view of Rahul Gandhi’s expected visit.

10:30am: A farmer in Maharashtra’s Nashik committed suicide on Wednesday evening. He owed money to money lenders and banks.In the last two days, four farmers have committed suicide.

10:20am: Police and CRPF have set up barricades at the Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh border to prevent Rahul Gandhi from entering.

10:17am: Police stop all traffic into Mandsaur at Nayagaon and Neemuch district borders.

10:15am: Two companies of RAF, comprising around 100 men each, have moved into Pipliamandi in Mandsaur.

10:01am: Rahul Gandhi lands in Udaipur, leaves for Mandsaur by road. He is expected to be met by district officials at a checkpost outside the district.

9:54am: Protests have spread to six other districts. Apart from Mandsaur, focus of violence is at Dewas where farmers have torched at least two police stations, damaged more than two dozen vehicles and ransacked shops.

9:50am: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to visit violence-hit Mandsaur in MP: SP, Neemuch, Manoj Kumar Singh.

9:46am: The urban parts of Mandsaur appear to be calm but anger simmers in the villages.

9:43am: State government to set up a Rs 1,000-crore Price Stabilisation Fund to purchase the farm produce at MSP. Farmers would be paid 50% of the crop sale amount in cash and the rest would be transferred in their bank account through RTGS .

9:40am: Mandsaur collector Swatantra Kumar Singh who was shifted after the violence has been posted as a deputy secretary, MP government, as per the state government order.

9:32am: District magistrates of adjoining districts of Mandsaur- Ratlam and Neemuch - also shifted as per the order of the state government. Their names are B Chandrashekhar and Rajneesh Shrivastava, respectively.

9:30am: In two days, Madhya Pradesh government will start purchase of Moong, Tur and Urad at their support prices .

9:26am: Madhya Pradesh government has announced a Rs 6,000 crore crop-loan settlement scheme that proposes waiving of interests for those cultivators who have defaulted. This is short of the complete loan waiver that farmers have demanded.

9:21am: Local administration has set up a police post outside Mandsaur, expect to intercept Rahul Gandhi when he reaches around noon.

9:20am:Police remove two dozen burnt trucks from the Mhow-Neemuch highway, open road.

9:15am: Shops are opening in violence-hit Piplya Mandi for the first time in three days. Internet ban still in place

9:10am: Digvijaya Singh asked, “If they were anti-social elements they why compensation? What was the police record on the farmers who were martyred. Shivraj ji all were pure farmers.”

9:08am:Neemuch superintendent of police Manoj Kumar Singh and Shivpur district magistrate OP Shrivastava posted as new SP and collector of Mandsaur, as per CM secretariat.

9:06am: Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh dares CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to tender his resignation “If you are left with even iota of shame in you. You call yourself a son of a farmer but fire at unarmed farmers. Ghor kaput bete ho (you are an unworthy son).”

9.00am: District magistrate Swatantra Kumar Singh and superintendent of police OP Tripathi removed.

8.50am: Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav is also expected to visit Mandsaur

8:47am: Bus services have been disrupted in Mandsaur after large-scale violence on Wednesday where protesters torched several vehicles

8.40am: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi leaves from Udaipur to Mandsaur where he is expected to meet families of the five farmers killed in police firing on Tuesday.

8:25am: The local administration in Mandsaur has said no politician would be allowed to enter Mandsaur on Thursday either like Wednesday as curfew restrictions continued.

8.10am: “We have only information that Rahul Gandhi is coming. We are yet to know about the timing”, said Chandrika Dwivedi, general secretary state Congress, talking to the Hindustan Times on Thursday morning.

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