BHOPAL: The violent agrarian agitation in Madhya Pradesh, which was largely confined to the western districts, spread to Sehore, hometown of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Friday. Sehore is barely 30 km from the State capital Bhopal. Meanwhile, a farmer, who was in police custody, died at a hospital, allegedly due to torture, and another reportedly committed suicide due to mounting loans.
Kishan Lal Meena, 45, allegedly killed himself by consuming celphos — a commonly-used pesticide — on Thursday. Kishan, a native of Sagonia village in Raisen district, told his family before dying that he had taken the extreme step of consuming pesticide due to mounting loans and electricity dues worth around `17 lakh.
Kishan’s family told police officials he was under pressure to repay the loans, including `10 lakh he had taken from a bank, `5 lakh from money lenders and outstanding power dues worth `2 lakh. He was under pressure due to constant threats from moneylenders and his inability to get his three daughters married, they claimed.
Over the last 16 years, over 20,000 farmers committed suicide in the State over a variety of reasons, according to government data. Between Feb 2016 and 2017, 1,982 farmers and farm labourers took their lives.
Meanwhile, 32-year-old ryot Ghanshyam Dhakad, who was brought to Indore’s MY Hospital by police late on Thursday night, died hours later. The farmer’s kin reached the hospital from Mandsaur on Friday morning, where his wife attempted to commit suicide. The victim’s family alleged he was detained by police in Daldoa-Sapra village during the agitation on Thursday and beat brutally in custody.
“It was due to police torture that Ghanshyam died,” they alleged.
“When Ghanshyam was brought by the Mandsaur police to the hospital in Indore at around 10.30 pm on Thursday, he was vomiting. He died around 11.15 pm. Only postmortem will establish what actually happened to him” said City SP Pawan Mishra.
Senior police officials in Mandsaur district remained tight-lipped as the death toll in the agitation climbed to 6. Earlier on June 6, five agitating farmers were killed in police firing in the same district.
Chouhan’s upwaas politics: