Madhya Pradesh farmers' strike: Politicians stopped from visiting Mandsaur, agitation rages on

Madhya Pradesh farmers' protest raging in Mandsaur refused to die down on Wednesday even as the authorities imposed a curfew on Tuesday. According to a source reporting from the region, the violence, which was earlier centered around the Pipalya Mandi area of the district, has spilled over to Sitamau village, where enraged protesters have torched a local warehouse and a factory.

Meanwhile, in Pipalya Mandi, which hasbeen the epicentre of the farmers' strike since 1 June, the protesters continued to show their anger: Farmers gheraoed a police chowky. According to sources, the protesters outnumbered the CRPF men, pushing them on to the back foot. Several vehicles were also set on fire.

 Madhya Pradesh farmers strike: Politicians stopped from visiting Mandsaur, agitation rages on

Madhya Pradesh farmers protest for farm loan waivers. Twitter

Meanwhile, the politicking picked up over the farmer protests, as Opposition parties and the ruling BJP traded barbs. As Mandsaur remains on edge, politicians from both BJP and Congress have been denied permission to enter the region. Journalist Rohit Gupta,  reporting from Mandsaur told Firstpost that Nand Kumar, BJP MP from Khandwa, was stopped 50 kilometres away from the district while Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was also denied permission to visit the kin of the farmers who were allegedly killed in CRPF firing.   The farmer protests in the district, part of the agitation to demand loan waiver and a hike in Minimum Support Prices, turned violent on Tuesday after five farmers were allegedly shot dead by CRPF men. The protesting farmers kept the bodies of the five farmers killed in the alleged firing at a chowk in Pipalya Mandi, and restricted the flow of traffic. It was after much efforts from the administration that the farmers could be convinced to cremate the bodies of those killed in protests. The protesting farmers were angry at the Rs 1 crore announced as ex-gratia payment, and they said that the government can take double the amount from them but return the lives of their slain family members. Kumar Singh, District Collector of Mandsaur Swatantra was also manhandled by the villagers of Barkheda Panth earlier on Wednesday, when he went to meet the agitating farmers. Meanwhile, political parties were quick to seize upon the issue. While the Congress accused BJP of auctioning the bodies of slain farmers, the BJP said that local Opposition leaders were egging on the farmers to choose violent protests over talks with the government.

Meanwhile, Opposition leaders said that they will visit Mandsaur to talk to the farmers.

JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said that he had talked to Gandhi about the issue and both the leaders plan to visit the city on Thursday to speak to the agitating farmers.  "Can't recall such a massacre. They are giving the death toll at five or six but I believe many more have been killed," Yadav said.   

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Updated Date: Jun 07, 2017 17:50:47 IST

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