The farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh reached the doorsteps of the state capital Bhopal today, with incidents of arson and stone-pelting in Fanda area. Police baton-charged the protesters and arrested at least 27 of them in the area, some 20 km outside Bhopal. “Some unidentified persons set a truck on fire near a spot where Congress workers were protesting. Then some men hurled stones at the policemen present there,” deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Raman Singh Sikarwar told PTI.
The arrested include 19 Congress workers. Police also arrested eight others who were allegedly pelting stones. “We also resorted to lathi-charge to disperse stone-pelters,” the DIG said. Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh are protesting since June 1, seeking loan waiver and higher prices for the farm produce among other things. On June 6, five protesters were killed in police firing in Mandsaur district, the epicentre of agitation. A 26-year-old farmer died in Badavan village of Mandsaur, with locals today alleging that he was beaten up by policemen.