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MP farmers' protest: Situation in Mandsaur easing, police keep tight vigil

10 June 2017

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today said the farmers' agitation has turned "anarchic", and announced that he will sit on an indefinite fast for restoration of peace.

Police baton-charged the protesters and arrested at least 27 of them in the area.

He demanded Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's resignation and also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "keeping mum" on the issue.

Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh are protesting since 1 June, seeking loan waiver and higher prices for the farm produce among other things amid widespread violence including several incidents of arson.

A wary central government, meanwhile, asked states adjoining Madhya Pradesh to keep strict vigil against the spread of farmers protest.

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Though it denied the firing on farmers who were protesting in Mandsaur initially, later it has admitted that six farmers were shot dead in the police firing.

Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh as well as Sharad Yadav were also stopped from meeting the families of the dead farmers.

Gandhi was arrested yesterday in Madhya Pradesh's Neemuch under Section 151. "We have come to talk to the farmers".

"The farmers in the country are facing tough times.

I will run the government from there and monitor the situation in the state", he said, adding he was not "heartless".

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Singh told the media that both the Mandsaur District Magistrate and the Indore Superintendent of Police had been transferred.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Modi government would not do anything that breaks the faith of farmers and the common man. The SP said police is trying to identify the culprits by going through the video clips of the incidents of violence.

The farmers agitation in Madhya Pradesh entered the eighth day on Thursday.

Chouhan, who appealed for peace, said the government will deal sternly with anti-social elements who are resorting to violence amid the farmers' agitation. "We have unanimously chose to strongly oppose the action of the MP government in killing the protesting farmers", Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) Vice President Jhanda Singh Jethuke and Dakaunda President Buta Singh Burjgill told The Times of India.

The Chief Minister would also be leaving the Vallabh Bhawan (Secretariat) and go to open grounds in order to speak with the agitating farmers. They want their loans to be written off and their produce to be bought at a fair price.

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He had a debt of around Rs 60,000 and had also taken loans from some private lenders, police said.

MP farmers' protest: Situation in Mandsaur easing, police keep tight vigil