Mandsaur continued to be on the edge on Thursday as two contingents of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed in the region. Curfew was in place except for two hours when it was relaxed for women and children.
More than 1100 RAF personnel were deployed. Two companies of RAF were posted in the district’s Garoth area, and another two deployed along the Mwoh-Neemuch Highway to prevent any untoward incidents, the police said.
DIG Ratlam Range Avinash Sharma camped in Pipliamandi where farmers, agitating for the last seven days for loan waiver and better crop prices, defied prohibitory orders on Wednesday, beat up officials and policemen, resorting to violence ans arson.
The situation had turned ugly on Tuesday when five farmers were killed in police firing.
Initially, after the incident, the state authorities denied that the deaths were caused by police firing. But, on Thursday, two days later, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh today said that the five casualties during farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur occurred during police firing. The minister also said that a magisterial enquiry had been ordered to find out what caused the police to fire.
Interestingly, today Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also said that the MP government was open to dialogue with the farmers.
“The state government is always ready for talks with farmers. I appeal to the farmers to maintain calm. Only talks can end the differences,” Chouhan said.
“We (state government) are going to start buying Tur and Urad pulses from farmers at MSP from June 10,” he added.
Farmers have been protesting since June 1 demanding a higher minimum support price (MSP) for their produce among other issues.
Earlier in the day, state government transferred the collector and superintendent of police of Mandsaur.
Mandsaur Collector Swatantra Kumar Singh has been transferred as deputy secretary Mantralaya. Singh was replaced with OP Shrivastava, official sources said.
The government also transferred Mandsaur SP, OP Tripathi and posted Manoj Kumar Singh in place of him, sources revealed.
The appease the farmers and cool tempers down, The Chouhan government had sought to cool the tempers by announcing certain measures, including a loan settlement scheme for those cultivators who had defaulted on repayment of farm loan borrowed by them earlier. The scheme will cover around six lakh farmers, with accumulated dues of Rs 6000 crore.
(With inputs from PTI)