Madhya Pradesh farmers’ protest: Rahul, other leaders released

first_img| Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji  Congress politicising farmers’ stir: NaiduUnion Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu accused the Congress of instigating and politicising the farmers’ stir in Madhya Pradesh and termed Mr. Gandhi’s planned visit to the violence-hit Mandsaur “another photo opportunity.”“The Congress is instigating and politicising the issue. It should stop doing that and behave as a responsible political party to help restore normalcy there,” he said.Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Mr. Naidu also dismissed the Congress’ demand that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan step down from his post in view of the killing of five protesting farmers in police firing.Mr. Naidu recalled an incident in the State’s Betul district on January 12, 1998, where 24 farmers died allegedly in police firing ordered by Mr. Digvijaya Singh.“Did they seek resignation of [Digvijaya] Singh when the 24 farmers were killed? Did the Congress vice president visit the victim farmers then?” Mr. Naidu asked.Two toll plazas vandalisedTwo toll plazas were vandalised and a warehouse was set on fire in Neemuch. Sixty-two people have been detained, say police.State Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said the death of five farmers was due to police firing.It may be noted that the State government had denied that police firing killed them.Mr. Singh said the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police failed to control the situation and deal with the agitating farmers.Read more  Collector, SP transferredAs protests spread to other districts, the government transferred Mandsaur District Collector Swatantra Kumar Singh. He was posted as deputy secretary, Mantralaya. He was replaced by O.P. Shrivastava, official sources said.The government also transferred Superintendent of Police O.P. Tripathi and posted Manoj Kumar Singh in his place, the sources added.Section 144 has been imposed in Neemuch. Mobile-based Internet services were suspended in Mandsaur, Neemuch and Ratlam. All roads are blocked and outsiders are not allowed.Rahul Gandhi heading towards MandsaurCongress vice president Rahul Gandhi was expected to reach Neemuch before heading to the violence-hit Mandsaur. He left Delhi on Thursday, even as the local police made it clear that he will not be allowed to enter the district.JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav is accompanying Mr. Gandhi, besides senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia.Read more The police have blocked all roads and highways near Mandsaur. Watch: Farmer agitation turns violent Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh continues to be on the boil even two days after five agitating farmers were killed in a police firing. Prohibitory orders continued in many parts of western Madhya Pradesh.Here are the Latest updates by our correspondent Mahesh Langa from Mandsaur:Rahul releasedCongress leaders including Rahul Gandhi have been released by the M.P. Police. They, along with JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, were taken into preventive custody earlier in the day. Open for dialogueThe government is open for dialogue with the agitating farmers, says Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He said the state government was open for a dialogue to iron out the differences and once again appealed them to maintain peace.“The state government is always ready for talks with farmers. I appeal to the farmers to maintain calm. Only talks can end the differences. The state government is of farmers and public. I will continue to work for them. We (state government) are going to start buying Tur and Urad pulses from farmers at MSP from June 10. I appeal to the farmers to join hands to work for the state’s development,” he said.Curfew to be relaxed for women, childrenCurfew would be relaxed for women and children up to the age of 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Mandsaur and and Pipliamandi, Mandsaur SDM N S Rajawat said.Earlier, Divisional Commissioner M B Ojha said Internet services might also be restored.“For the last two to three days, farmers were stopping vehicles and setting them on fire. No such incident has been reported today. The situation is almost normal,” he said.Congress leaders detainedCongress vice president Rahul Gandhi and other Congress others were detained at Nayagaon village, near Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border. Party leaders Kamal Nath, Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh, and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav were taken into preventive custody.Television channels showed Mr. Gandhi arguing with police personnel as his convoy was blocked at the border.Speaking to the reporters, Mr. Gandhi blamed the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh and Centre for the farmers’ crisis. “Farmers are agitating across the country. They [NDA government] haven’t fulfilled the promises they made. This is an anti-farmer government both at the State and Central level,” he said before being detained.While being taken into police custody, Mr. Yadav said, “Demonetisation and anti-farmers’ policies of the NDA government have ruined farmers across the country. Farmers are forced to sell onion at Rs 2 a kg. No MSP offered by the Madhya Pradesh government.”Congress VP #RahulGandhi being stopped by police from entering #Mandsaur The police fired at farmers who were protesting, 6 people died pic.twitter.com/mttx58GcE0— INC India (@INCIndia) June 8, 2017 Story so farFive farmers were killed and two critically injured in Mandsaur when the police opened fire during a violent protest on Tuesday.The farmers have been agitating since June 1, demanding better prices for their produce and loan waiver.(With inputs from Agencies)last_img

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