U'khand: Ex-CM stages dharna against Mandsaur firing

Kristopher Drake
June 11, 2017

Expressing grief over the escalating farmers' agitation, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday said he will sit on an indefinite fast until peace is restored.

The opposition party also protested against Rahul Gandhi's detention while on way to Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur town to meet the kin of five farmers killed in police firing on Tuesday.

Amid raging protests by farmers spiralling across Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district, state Agriculture Minister Gauri Shankar Bisen on Saturday categorically refused to provide any relief, saying the government has already been providing interest free loans and hence there's no need for a waiver.

"I have always tried doing a lot for farmers, and their problem is ours".

"I request people to come up to me with their problems..."

He said that representatives of seven organisations - the Aam Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Union, the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasangh, Kisan Seva Sangathan, Kisan Sena (Vidisha) and the Kisan Jagriti Manch - were participating in the protest and on Sunday, farmers from across the state would come to join them.

Antony sought the government's intervention and warned that the situation could take a turn for the worse and have an impact across the nation. "Nobody can justify (it). even the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh has not justified the action".

The delegation consisting of Sanjay Singh, Bhagwant Mann, Somnath Bharti, Ashutosh and the party's Madhya Pradesh unit convener Alok Aggarwal sat on a dharna in Dhodhar area of Ratlam district after officials denied them entry into Mandsaur as curfew had been imposed there and told them it would not be safe.

48 Congress workers marched towards BHEL Dussehra Maidan where the CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is sitting on a fast.

The movement turned violent two days later when five persons died in police firing on June 6 in Mandsaur.

Earlier in the day, Chouhan, who began his indefinite hunger strike, asserted that he would not let the state engulf in violence and would ensure that peace returns.

In May 2016, for example, Vijay Jhanvandiya and Vivekanand Mathne, activists in Maharasthra's cotton-growing Vidarbha region organised an all-India meeting of farmer associations in Wardha, near Nagpur, where they listed the implementation of the Swaminathan report as a key farmer issue. "We will do all we can do for them", the Chief Minister told NDTV.

"The rate farmers are getting for their produce is much lower than the input cost".

State Congress president Arun Yadav demanded that the false cases registered against farmers should be withdrawn.

If the Congress leader tries to enter the district, he will be detained, the SP said.

If contraband is the reason, why are the farmers protesting in other parts of the state, he argued.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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