Madhya Pradesh farmers protest: Thousands of youth who live between Neemuch and Mandsaur have nothing but agriculture as the only source of employment. The region was the focal point of the nation’s attention earlier this month after five farmers were killed in police firing during protests in the area. There are few opportunities in the towns of Neemuch and Mandsaur themselves in terms of employment. Job seekers from these areas have to go as far as Indore, which is 200 kilometers away, to seek employment. There is a cement factory in the region and a few soya bean processing plants in the area but hardly many employment opportunities are thrown up, according to the Indian Express. Babloo Pathan, a local said, ”There are no employment opportunities here. if you are landless, then working on a daily wage is your only option”
Between the harvesting of the winter crops and the sowing of the kharif crop most of these farmers do not have anything to do. It was during such a time that the protests in the area started. The protests began with the farmers demanding a fair price for their crops on June 1. The situation in the area became tense and reached a point of no return when close to 1000 farmers reached Pipliya Mandi near Mandsaur and asked traders to down their shutters.
The traders who did not want to show solidarity with the farmers and refused to shut down. The agitating farmers soon returned and set fire to four shops which had not downed their shutters. In the resulting turmoil, the police fired upon and killed five protesting farmers, according to an Indian Express report.
Since demonetisation, traders who buy produce at mandis from farmers have gained an advantage and this has allowed them to manipulate farmers, thereby angering them.