Social activist Swami Agnivesh today said that the farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur will not remain restricted to Madhya Pradesh but will spread to other states as similar conditions prevail there. He was part of a group of activists from different farmers outfits and social organisations who were stopped from going to Mandsaur on June 11, where five farmers were killed in police firing during a protest. The activists including Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav, convener of National Alliance of Peoples’ Movement Sunilam, and Jai Kisan Andolan convener Avik Saha demanded an independent enquiry into the deaths of farmers by a sitting high court judge, besides demanding waiver of loans by the Madhya Pradesh government. The activists attacked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the alleged “violation of civic liberties” in the state. “The farmers everywhere are facing problems like that in Madhya Pradesh. We will work for holding peaceful farmers’ agitation in the entire country by uniting different organisations,” Agnivesh said. He alleged that the state government was not allowing people to go to Mandsaur since it was “hiding the truth” of the farmers’ killings. Yadav said that a Mahapanchayat of farmers from all over the country will be held in Mandsaur on July 6 to commemorate the deaths.
He claimed that the farmers’ problem in Mandsaur and adjoining areas was related to a steep decline in agricultural produce including cumin, fenugreek, garlic, nigella seeds and carom but the government instead of helping the farmers chose to distance them, resulting in violence and deaths. “Now, the MP government is scared, it wants to hide the truth of Mandsaur firing and is preventing people from going there despite a week after the incident,” he alleged.
Sunilam, a former MLA from the state, alleged that the violence and arson was caused by the members of BJP’s Kisan Morcha. The activists also demanded action against the “guilty police and administrative officers involved in the firing”, and withdrawal of cases registered against the farmers in the state.