The Madhya Pradesh government on Monday appointed retired High Court judge JK Jain to initiate an inquiry into the death of five farmers killed during protests in Mandsaur on June 6, ANI reported. The one-member committee has been ordered to submit its findings within three months.
Last week, farmers in Madhya Pradesh had staged a demonstration demanding fair prices for their produce and loan waivers from the state government. At least five of them were killed in Mandsaur when police fired in an effort to quell the protests. On June 8, residents of the Badavan village alleged that one more farmer had died after an assault by police officials. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was briefly arrested for attempting to visit Mandsaur on June 8.
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had said an investigation confirmed that police firing was responsible for the killing of five farmers in Mandsaur. “Initially, the details provided to me were that police firing did not cause it,” Singh had told ANI. “I later amended my statement after receiving the correct information.” Police officials had initially denied allegations that their personnel were responsible for the deaths.
On June 10, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had announced compensation for the victims’ families, also went on a “peace fast”. Chouhan had vowed to restore peace in the state with his fast. He had also assured the farmers of a profitable price for their produce. On June 11, Swaraj Abhiyan party founder Yogendra Yadav, activists Medha Patkar and Swami Agnivesh were detained during an attempt to enter the troubled region.