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Mandsaur violence: Chouhan blames Congress, announces Rs 1 cr each for victims’ kin

Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a judicial probe into the killings after holding a meeting with senior police officers. He also appealed for peace.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2017 17:30 IST
Agencies, Bhopal
Shivraj Singh Chouhan,Mandsaur violence,Madhya Pradesh firing
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses an event in New Delhi. The CM faced criticism after the killing of five farmers in Mandsaur during a protest on Tuesday.(PTI File)

Facing criticism over the killing of farmers in Madhya Pradesh, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday appealed for peace even as he accused the opposition Congress party of instigating violence during a protest in Mandsaur district.

Five people were killed --- allegedly by law enforcement officials --- after the farmers’ agitation turned violent, prompting the authorities to clamp curfew in the trouble-hit area. Hundreds had gathered at Pipalia town as part of a 10-day demonstration for higher crop prices that cover their input costs, a loan waiver and a farm package to tide over losses incurred by drought.

“In the past 11 years, there have been countless decisions made for the welfare of farmers. The various demands of the farmers have been fulfilled,” Chouhan told news agency ANI.

He ordered a judicial probe into the killings after holding a meeting with senior civil and police officers. The CM announced an aid of Rs 1 crore each to the victims’ families. He said those injured will get Rs 5 lakh each.

But the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party came down heavily on the BJP-led state government.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said the government was at war with farmers and “feeding” them with bullets for demanding their rights.

MP farmer agitation: How the crisis unfolded
June 1: Farmers begin a ten-day-long agitation in Madhya Pradesh demanding better price for their produce
June 4: Clashes break out between police and farmers in Sehore, Indore and Bhopal districts, leaving six policemen injured
June 4 afternoon: A delegation of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), which is affiliated to ‘saffron parivar’, defers farmers’ agitation following a meeting with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Ujjain
June 4 evening: Enraged by the announcement of BKS, other two major organisations spearheading the agitation - Rashtriya Kissan Mazdoor Sangh and Bharatiya Kisan Union - say agitation had not been called off or deferred. They decided to intensify the agitation
CM Chouhan announces MP government will procure onions at a cost of Rs 8 per kg. State BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan announces farmers will honour the CM for his stand. But BKS distances itself from the felicitation
June 5: CM Chouhan hurriedly calls a press conference, blaming ‘a few people for giving a wrong direction to farmers protest’. CM announces Rs 1000 crore price stabilisation fund in scenarios where prices destabilise following bumper crop
Farmers take out a vehicle rally from Double Chowki, over 20 kms from Indore city. The rally is, however, stopped by the police on the outskirts of Indore
June 6 afternoon: Security personnel fire on protesting farmers in Mandsaur district, killing five of them. Ruckus follows as enraged farmers block road and ransack properties
June 6 evening: Rashtriya Kissan Mazdoor Sangh announces MP bandh on Wednesday till 2 pm
CM Chouhan announces judicial inquiry into the Mandsaur firing incident

Senior Congress leader and Chhindwara MP Kamal Nath said: “The farmers’ agitation has started the process of dislodging of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the state.”

AAP Madhya Pradesh in-charge Gopal Rai said the incident reflected anti-farmer mentality of the BJP, who remembered farmers only during elections. “They have not been able to fulfil a single poll promise made during the elections.”

Reaching out to the farmers, CM Chouhan said those killed on Tuesday were “our people”. “I can understand the pain of their families,” he said, promising a government job each to the families of the victims.

“Please maintain peace. The government is with farmers,” Chouhan said, reiterating some people were trying to vitiate the atmosphere.

First Published: Jun 07, 2017 00:08 IST