state news

Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Pilot arrested in Neemuch while trying to enter Mandsaur, say reports

Madhya Pradesh’s Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said police firing was responsible for the killing of five farmers during the protest.

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and several other leaders were arrested in Neemuch under Section 151 on Thursday while trying to enter the restive region of Mandsaur, ANI reported. Gandhi had set out to meet protestors in Mandsaur despite officials denying permission for anyone to visit the troubled area. Those who knowingly join or continue in the assembly of more than five people after they have been ordered to disperse can be arrested under Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code.

The Congress vice-president had attempted to enter Mandsaur on a two-wheeler before trying to breakthrough a police barricade on foot. He had set out in a convoy accompanied by Janata Dal (United) party leader Sharad Yadav, Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Mohan Prakash earlier on Thursday.

The local administration declared Vikram Cement factory’s guest house a jail and placed Gandhi, Yadav, Kamal Nath, Sachin Pilot, Girija Vyas under arrest for breaching peace and the prohibitory orders, Hindustan Times reported.

On Twitter, his office account posted a series of comments made by him. “They did not give any reason, just said they are arresting me,” Gandhi said. “The same was done in Uttar Pradesh also.” Taking a jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government, Gandhi said, “Modi cannot grant farmers a loan waiver or fair rates. All they get are bullets.”

“What law of the land says that it is illegal to stand in solidarity with farmers who were killed simply for demanding what is their right?” the Congress vice-president said.

Madhya Pradesh’s Home Minister Bhupendra Singh on Thursday said an investigation has confirmed that police firing was responsible for the killing of five farmers during the ongoing protest in Mandsaur, ANI reported. “Initially, the details provided to me were that police firing did not cause it,” Singh told ANI. “I later amended my statement after receiving the correct information.” Police officials had earlier denied allegations that their personnel were responsible for the deaths.

Singh confirmed Gandhi’s detainment. “What was the emergency to go there now?” the home minister asked. “He only wants to do politics.”

Meanwhile, acts of violence including vandalism at a toll plaza were reported in several parts of the state. The police believe the mob took between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 10 lakh from the booth. At least 62 people were detained for their role in the violence, Superintendent of Police OP Tripathi said. “More people are being identified based on videos and pictures,” Tripathi said.

Officials said the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan government has issued transfer orders for District Collector Swatantra Kumar Singh and Superintendent of Police OP Tripathi on Thursday, PTI reported. The two will be replaced by OP Shrivastava and Manoj Kumar Singh respectively.

Police officials said four companies of the Rapid Action Force, comprising around 100 personnel each, have moved into Pipliamandi in Mandsaur, PTI reported. Additional Director General of Police V Madhu Kumar and other senior police officers have reached Nayagaon in an effort to stop the leaders, Hindustan Times reported. Officials imposed Section 144 in Neemuch.

The Congress has questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the matter. “Despite much ‘hoopla’ about starting ‘Kisan DD Channel’, Mr Prime Minister – did this Kisan Channel show this Mandsaur incident?” Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi told PTI.

Gandhi had said that he would meet the families of those who were killed during the ongoing farmers’ protest. Meanwhile, the Mandsaur superintendent of police was removed from his post and the district collector, Swatantra Kumar Singh, was transferred. Om Prakash Srivastava was appointed the new collector of Mandsaur, ANI reported.

The state government, however, has denied permission to anyone who wants to visit the troubled area. Accusing Gandhi of being “publicity hungry”, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he should not go to Mandsaur until the situation stabilised, NDTV reported.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had announced compensation for the families of victims, announced more sops on Thursday, reported The Indian Express. The government agreed for a loan settlement scheme for defaulters, and also announced a new commission to fix a formula to ensure fair prices for crops. He gave orders to immediately constitute a Rs 1,000-crore price stabilisation fund.

On Wednesday, the protesting farmers had blocked the highway with the bodies of those killed on Tuesday. The administration had to convince them to cremate the bodies. Farmers also torched a number of vehicles, local warehouse and a factory in and around Mandsaur. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting to discuss the matter with top officials. The Centre has deployed over 1,000 paramilitary troops to stabilise the situation in the state.

More than 1,600 farmers ended their lives in Madhya Pradesh in 2016, NDTV quoted National Crime Records Bureau statistics.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

When Priyanka Gothi’s mother retired after 35 years of being a teacher, Priyanka decided to create a first of its kind marketplace that would leverage the experience and potential of retirees by providing them with flexible job opportunities. Her Hong Kong based novel venture, Retired, Not Out is reimagining retirement by creating a channel through which the senior generation can continue to contribute to the society.

Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.

Play

Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

To make one of Lenovo’s laptops a part of the family, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.