BHOPAL: The ten-day farmers stir entered its fourth day in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday with fresh reports of violence by agitating farmers emerging from Indore, Ratlam and Sehore districts.
In a significant development, meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met with agitating farmer leaders in Ujjain in the afternoon, after which Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) leader Shivakant Dixit declared that the stir had been called off after the CM accepted most of the demands of the agitating farmers.
However, a shortwhile later, MP Kisan Sena (MPKS) leader Jagdish Rawalia said the stir has not been called off as the farmers were not fully satisfied with the meeting with the CM and may meet him again in Indore on Monday.
The state spokesperson of another farmers’ body-- the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (RKMS), Sunil Gaur, told the New Indian Express that the strike which started on June 1 has not been called off and the RSS-affiliated BKS was only creating confusion about the stir having been withdrawn.
“The BKS till June 2 was against the farmers stir, but yesterday they suddenly decided to support the stir. Now they are creating confusion and trying to divide farmers as part of calculated plans by the BJP government to break the strike. Owing to this development, our leaders will meet on June 8 and might convert the 10-days stir into a full-fledged indefinite strike,” said Gaur.
The BKS leader has said that the CM has accepted their series of demands, but the RKMS stir was only focused on two demands and not series of demands. “The two demands included giving the farmers returns which were equivalent to one and half times more than the cost incurred in produce. This has already been assured by the BJP in its election manifesto for 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The second demand was to waive off the farmers’ loans worth around Rs 45,000 crores in MP, none of which has been accepted by the CM. How can the CM claim in his tweets that the stir has been called off, it’s still on and will intensify further,” said Gaur.
Earlier in the day, the CM had tweeted after meeting the farmers "I am happy that farmers have decided to withdraw their strike. Madhya Pradesh government is a pro-farmer regime and it will continue to work for the welfare of farmers."
Meanwhile, fresh violence was reported from Mandsaur, Indore, Sehore and Ratlam districts on Sunday during the farmers stir.
In Sehore district, six policemen including a city SP (CSP), besides a tehsildar Santosh Mudgal were injured when protesting farmers allegedly pelted s ones at them at Sonda village on the Indore-Bhopal road. The farmers attacked the cops when the police tried to disperse the farmers who were stopping a banana laden truck and throwing the fruits on street.
Violent farmers’ protests were also reported from Mandsaur district and Petlawad area of Jhabua district. Also, in Delanpur village of Ratlam district, two cops, including a sub inspector were injured in stone pelting by farmers. Three vehicles were also burnt, allegedly by the protesting farmers.
On Saturday evening violence was reported near Choithram Mandi in Indore, while similar violence was reported from Sardarpur town of Dhar district on Friday. Farmers also protested elsewhere in Khandwa, Khargone, Shajapur, Agar Malwa and Bhopal.
The stir which started on June 10 has largely remained confined to western Madhya Pradesh districts of Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Mandsaur, Dhar, Shajapur, Khandwa, Neemuch and Ratlam, affecting supply of essentials, including fruits, vegetables and milk and having spiraling effect on their prices.