Curfew was today relaxed for the day in Mandsaur city and Pipliamandi as the situation in the areas hit by violent protests by farmers improved.
SP Manoj Kumar Singh said authorities decided to relax curfew from 10 am to 6 pm as the situation has improved. However, no protest, rally or demonstration will be allowed during the curfew relaxation period, police said. Collector O P Srivastava said curfew was relaxed as no untoward incident was reported in the district. As shops reopened, locals stepped out to stock essentials like vegetables and milk. Long queues were also seen outside petrol pumps. Mandsaur, the epicentre of the agitation, has remained relatively peaceful even as farmer protests have spilled over to new areas of Madhya Pradesh.
Incidents of arson were reported from Shajapur and Dhar districts in western part of the state yesterday as the agitation for loan waiver and better crop price continued. Police fired teargas and lathicharged a stone-pelting mob near the local market in Shajapur yesterday. Following the incident, prohibitory orders were imposed in Shajapur town under Section 144 of the CrPC. The agitation has also spread to Chhindwara district in Mahakoshal region of the state. The Centre had rushed 1,100 personnel of the RAF to the violence-hit state. While two companies of the RAF, each comprising 100 personnel, were deployed in Pipliamandi in Mandsaur, where the five farmers were killed, another two were posted in Garoth.
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Two RAF companies were deployed along the highway. Contingents of the CRPF have also been deployed. At least 56 people have been arrested and over 100 detained in connection with violence during the farmers agitation here. The state’s Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had told PTI that the five farmers had been killed in police firing, a remark that assumes significance as the authorities had earlier claimed the police did not fire during the protests. To bring back normalcy, the Chief Minister had made a fresh attempt to reach out to the agitating farmers, saying the state government was open for a dialogue to iron out the differences and once again appealed them to maintain peace.