Notwithstanding the relaxation in curfew and the presence of security personnel, traders in Piplia Mandi town, 15 km away from Mandsaur district headquarters, are apprehensive about opening their shops after the recent violence during the farmers agitation. The town known as one of the largest garlic trading centers wore a deserted look as anxious residents refused to step out. “We are scared to run our business even though the curfew has been relaxed. We have been threatened with dire consequences if we open our shops,” a trader said here. Curfew was relaxed for the third day today. The time period was extended to 12 hours from 8 AM to 8 PM. It was two hours and eight hours on Thursday and Friday respectively. Locals alleged mobs had burnt shops and houses between June 5 to June 7 even as the police remained “mute spectators”.
“We want a firm assurance from the administration about our security. Despite the presence of police and relaxation of curfew, shops and houses continue to be targeted. The police often fail to reach the spot on time. The huge loss to property could have been prevented if they acted on time,” Om Prakash Gupta, an advocate, said. Meanwhile, in a bid to instill confidence among the people, District Magistrate of Mandsaur O P Srivastav and SP Manoj Kumar Singh met traders here today. “I assured them that law and order will be maintained at all cost and stern action will be taken against the fringe elements trying to create trouble,” Srivastav told PTI. The DM also said that the administration will take stock of the losses within seven days and appropriate compensation will be provided to the affected.
Piplia Mandi with a population of 20,000 is situated on the Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border. Interestingly, farmers from both the states descend on the area in large numbers to trade their produce. But, the farmers agitation has rendered the place humdrum. The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMC) mandis also saw the minimum presence of traders. Meanwhile, the police maintained that no untoward incident was reported in the town. But as a precautionary measure, security personnel continued to be deployed in the area.