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Farmers’ protest: Rahul Gandhi detained on his way to Neemuch

Neemuch (Madhya Pradesh) [India]: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was detained by the police on Thursday while he was on his way to Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district to meet the families of the deceased farmers.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi neither waives off the farmers’ loans nor does he provide bonus. He just gives bullets,” Gandhi told the media.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi had tweeted, “Raj & MP Govts are doing their best to prevent me from entering MP & meeting the families of the #farmers killed in #Mandsaur.”

“What law of the land says that it is illegal to stand in solidarity with farmers who were killed simply for demanding what is their right?,” he added.

Gandhi was seen making way to Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh on a motorcycle as tensions continued to escalate in the region over the death of farmers.

Another party leader Sachin Pilot was also seen behind him.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh has admitted that police firing was the cause of deaths of the farmers.

Singh told ANI, “Death of the five farmers was due to police firing. It has been established in probe. I have said earlier that the farmers may have died in police firing. I have conceded this earlier, various channels have also ran it.”

Meanwhile, a fresh round of violence erupted in Mandsaur district after a toll plaza was vandalised. The protestors reportedly looted the toll plaza of Rs. eight to ten lakh.

In another development, the Madhya Pradesh Government has removed and transferred Mandsaur Collector Swatantra Kumar Singh and District Superintendent of Police (SP) Omprakash Tripathi for their reported inability to contain and control the farmers’ protest that led to the deaths of five farmers’ earlier this week.

The state government has appointed Om Prakash Srivastava as the new Mandsaur Collector.

Demanding the presence of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, protesting farmers yesterday got into a scuffle with Singh and Tripathi over their delaying in arriving in the area to hear their grievances and restore normalcy.

Singh had told ANI then that there was no order to open fire on the farmers.

“There was no order to open fire; I have assured them (farmers) of strict action in the matter,” Singh added.

The Madhya Pradesh farmers have hit the streets protesting over their demands for remunerative prices for their produce and a farm loan waiver not being met.

A police station in Neemuch yesterday had been vandalised, while protestors also attacked a private bank trying to burn down an ATM in Mandsaur’s Kayampur.

Famers and police clashed in Haatpiplya, Dewas as the protestors pelted stones and torched vehicles.

This unfortunately took an ugly turn on Tuesday when five farmers were killed and eight others were injured in two separate incidents of firing in Mandsaur.

The protestors alleged that the police fired at them. A judicial probe has been ordered in the matter.

Internet services in Mandsaur, Ratlam and Ujjain were also suspended following the farmers’ protests, and a curfew was reportedly imposed.

Apart from the loan waiver, the farmers are also demanding that they should be given Rs. 50 per litre of milk bought from them as they spend Rs. 37 per litre.

Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister Chouhan earlier in the day apprised Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah of the situation in Mandsaur over the phone.

Chief Minister Chouhan on Tuesday announced a compensation of Rs. one crore each to the victims’ families. The injured will get Rs. five lakh in compensation, he added.

In a video message, Chouhan also promised a government job to each of the victims’ kin. (ANI)