Following the death of five farmers in firing during a protest in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore each to the victims’ families. The injured will get Rs five lakh in compensation, he added. In a video message, Chouhan promised a government job to each of the victims’ kin. He also ordered a judicial probe into the death of the farmers.
Chouhan appealed to the protestors to remain calm, warning that “some people were trying to spoil the atmosphere”. “Don’t get carried away by provocation from others,” he said. “The government is with you. We will find solution to all problems.”
He called the incident a “Congress conspiracy”. “Government is sensitive and stands with farmers but Congress party, through conspiracy tried to fuel violence, many Congress leaders did so,” he said.
The deceased were identified as Kanhaiyalal Patidar, Bablu Patidar, Chain Singh Patidar, Abhishek Patidar and Satynarayan. Mobile services were suspended in Mandsaur, Ratlam and Neemuch districts. However, Home Minister Bhupendra Singh denied reports that internet services were suspended in the region.
Meanwhile, the Opposition came down heavily on the Madhya Pradesh government following the farmers’ death. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi criticised the government on Tuesday, tweeting, “In BJP’s new India, farmers demanding their rights get bullets in return.”
Gopal Rai, Madhyra Pradesh in-charge for the Aam Aadmi Party, said the incident highlighted the “anti-farmer mentality” of the Bharatiya Janata Party, reported Hindustan Times. “They have not been able to fulfil a single poll promise made during the elections.”
The farmers in the state have been protesting since last week. They want fair prices for their produce and loan waiver from the BJP government. On Monday, protestors clashed with the police in Neemuch. Both police officers and farmers were injured in the incident. The security forces baton-charged protestors and lobbed tear gas shells to control the situation, reported Hindustan Times.