The Madhya Pradesh Police on Thursday detained Swaraj Abhiyan party founder Yogendra Yadav, activists Medha Patkar (pictured above) and Paras Saklecha and many other protestors during a farmers’ rally in Mandsaur, ANI reported. On Twitter, Yadav had said hundreds of farmers have been detained near Piplia Mandi.
“Those detained include Raju Shetty, VM Singh, Hannan Maula, Suhasini Ali, Medha Patkar, Paras Saklecha and Kalpana Parulekar,” said Yadav. The protest was organised by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee, which includes farmer organisations from across the country. The protestors were demanding better rates for their agricultural produce, a complete loan waiver and swift justice for those killed during the farmers’ agitation in June in Mandsaur.
The protestors plan to march through several districts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana before ending their demonstration at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on July 18, The Times of India reported.
Earlier on Thursday, Patkar tweeted from the rally saying that thousands of men and women were defying “police terror and intimidation” by joining the Kisan Mukti Yatra. The Swaraj Abhiyan Party founder and Patkar were among the several people detained on June 11 for trying to enter the restive region. Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia was arrested when he attempted to enter the troubled region while party Vice President Rahul Gandhi was detained.
Farmers have been staging major protests around the country. The agitation in Madhya Pradesh, particularly Mandsaur, had taken a violent turn last month after five protestors were killed during police firing on June 6. The farmers had been demanding fair prices for their produce and loan waivers from the Bharatiya Janata Party government.
The state government had imposed a curfew followed by Section 144, curtailing movement in the area. The administration had appointed retired High Court judge JK Jain to initiate an inquiry into the death of the five farmers killed during protests. The one-member committee was ordered to submit its findings within three months.