Madhya Pradesh farmers’ protest: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led state government is facing a huge agitation over farm loan waiver issues. The agitation, with its epicentre based in Mandsaur – a town in western Madhya Pradesh – has entered its sixth day today. The situation is grim – 5 protestors have died, internet services are reportedly suspended and section 144 has been imposed in several parts of the states. Here are 10 things to know about the current situation.
– The farmers have put forth several demands among which, better remuneration for their produce and a loan waiver is at the top.
– Agitation took a violent turn on Tuesday when 5 protesters were killed and at least 4 others were injured in firing on the Mandsaur-Neemuch highway.
– Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh government has denied state police’s involvement in the firing. Home Minister Bhupendra Singh claimed that neither the local police nor CRPF opened fire at protesters.
– The government has ordered a police probe in the matter. The Home Minister, while addressing teh media about the deaths, praised the police for showing remarkable resilience despite the attempts to intensify the stir in the last five-six days.
– MP Government has suspended internet services in Mandsaur, Ratlam and Ujjain. A curfew has also reportedly been imposed in sensitive areas.
– The farmers’ protests in western Madhya Pradesh started on June 1. On Sunday, June 5, the farmers belonging to the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), an RSS-affiliated organisation, called off the protest while another farmers’ union said the agitation will continue.
– The protests continued on Monday despite Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s assurance that government is taking all the necessary steps to address the issues of the agitating farmers.
– Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while addressing the farmers concerns, had said that a price stabilisation fund of Rs 1,000 crore would be set up to purchase the farm produce at the minimum support price (MSP).
– Mandsaur, the epicentre of the protest, is about 325 kms from the state capital Bhopal.
– Meanwhile, another massive farmers’ strike is going on in Maharashtra. The agitation entered the sixth day today, with prices of vegetables shooting up in various markets due to short supply. Maharashtra farmers too have similar demands – loan waiver and higher minimum support prices.