Mandsaur (MP): At least 56 people have been arrested and over 100 detained in connection with violence during the farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, police said on Thursday.
A two-hour relaxation period in the curfew from 4pm to 6pm in the four police station areas of Mandsur city and Pipliamandi in the district passed off peacefully and collector O.P. Srivastava said that it can be eased further on Friday. Flyers inciting people to protest were allegedly distributed in some areas and police has launched an inquiry into it. Additional superintendent of police Ajay Pratap Singh said that 22 people have been arrested for arson and other offences related to violence, while 34 have been arrested for defying prohibitory orders. Police has also detained 102 persons.
Earlier in the day, SP Om Prakash Tripathi, who has been transferred in the wake of the firing in the district that left five farmers dead, said that seven cases have been filed in connection with various incidents of violence. Addressing a press conference along with Srivastava, Tripathi said some persons have also been detained for heckling the previous Mandsaur collector S.K. Singh in Berheda Pant area on Wednesday. He said the town inspector of Piplayamandi, Anil Singh Thakur, has been removed from field duties in connection with the firing on farmers. Rakesh Choudhry has been transferred as the new town inspector. Srivastava, who took charge on Thursday, said he is facing a “challenging situation".
“I am trying to understand the situation," he said. SDM Mandsaur, N.S. Rajawat, said that the curfew relaxation was made only for women and children up to the age of 10 years in Mandsaur and Pipliamandi. But as the situation improved, the authorities decided to extend the relaxation for all. Divisional commissioner M.B. Ojha said the situation is almost normal. “For the last two or three days, farmers were stopping vehicles and setting them on fire. No such incident has been reported today." Vehicles that were burnt had been removed this morning from the highway and traffic had resumed.
Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh are protesting since 1 June, demanding debt waiver, higher minimum support prices (MSP) for their produce and other concessions. Five persons were killed on Tuesday as the farmers’ agitation turned violent. In view of the volatile situation, the centre had rushed 1,100 RAF personnel to the violence-hit state The Shivraj Singh 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 Rs6000 crore, according to the government.