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Madhya Pradesh police shoot protesting farmers

11 June 2017

"It doesn't suit a national party leader to ride a bike without helmet like a college student", said Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh, who was desperate to hide that truth that five farmers were killed in the firing initially and later revealed that it was true.

Mandsaur: Rahul Gandhi has been detained by police on his way to Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday after he rode pillion on a motorcycle and walked some distance to reach Mandsaur from Rajasthan's Chittorgarh district.

The central government is in touch with states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, and sensitising them against any possible protest by farmers, officials said in Delhi.

Their stir turned violent when five persons died in police firing, while six others were injured on Tuesday in Mandsaur district.

The Congress accused the BJP of "acting as a curse of death for Indian farmers".

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Sanjay Singh demanded Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's resignation and also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's silence on the matter.

Police had initially denied responsibility for the deaths of the protestors, blaming it instead on "anti-social elements" and crowd violence. On Wednesday, police were mobilised throughout Bhopal to stop farmers marching into the city.

"We need changes in the tenant law to give them recognition and benefits".

Widespread violence, including several incidents of arson, have been reported from western Madhya Pradesh, during the week-long agitation. The union government has rushed 1,100 personnel of anti-riot Rapid Action Force to the violence-hit state.

However, no protest, rally or demonstration will be allowed during the curfew relaxation period today as well as on June 11 when farmers have announced a protest, Collector O P Srivastava said.

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To a question, the SP said the postmortem report of two of the five farmers killed in the agitation has found that they were killed by bullets fired from an Insas rifle.

"A protest is valid (only) when the government doesn't listen".

"Besides, the state government's move to promote digital payment in place of cash for procuring produce from farmers in the mandis (markets) aggravated the woes of the cultivators", he said.

Maintaining that his government would deal with miscreants with an iron fist, Chouhan said his fast is an attempt to ensure peace in the state. However, bumper production led to drastic fall in prices of agriculture produce.

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