Five farmers were killed and two critically injured in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh when the police opened fire during a violent protest on Tuesday. The State government later imposed curfew in sensitive areas of the district and suspended Internet services in Mandsaur, Ratlam, Neemuch and Ujjain.
“Five persons died in Tuesday’s incident but the situation is under control,” Mandsaur Collector S.K. Singh said on the phone. “Curfew has been clamped in the Pipalya Mandi police station area and Section 144 imposed in the rest of the district,” he added.
According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of protesters threw farm produce on the road and forcibly shut shops in the Pipliya Mandi Parshavnath Chowpatty area. They also threw stones and torched over a dozen vehicles.
The police at first lobbed teargas shells to bring the situation under control. But when the mob did not disperse, they opened fire.
The farmers have been agitating since June 1, demanding better prices for their produce and loan waiver.
The bodies of the five killed in the firing have been kept in the Mandsaur district hospital, a senior official said.
CM blames Congress
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan blamed the Congress for having “turned the agitation violent” and alleged that its aim was always to give it a “political colour.”
The government has ordered a judicial probe into the firing and announced a compensation of ₹10 lakh to the kin of the deceased and ₹1 lakh to the injured persons. The Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh, which is leading the agitation, announced a State-wide bandh on Wednesday to protest the police firing.