The police firing in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district in June 2017, in which five protesting farmers were killed, was an act of self-defence, an inquiry committee set up by the state government said on Tuesday, NDTV reported.
The police’s decision to fire at the protestors was “necessary and legal”, retired High Court judge AK Jain said in his report, which was presented before the state Cabinet, Dainik Bhaskar reported. The committee was set up days after the incident, and was asked to present its findings within three months.
On June 6, 2017, the farmers were demanding fair prices for their produce and loan waivers from the state government when the police fired at them to quell the protest. Two days later, the residents of the Badavan village alleged that one more farmer had died after police officials assaulted him. On June 10, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan went on a “peace fast”, vowing to restore normalcy in the state. He also assured the farmers of a profitable price for their produce.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi visited the region earlier this month and promised to waive farm loans within 10 days if his party came to power in Assembly elections scheduled for later this year.