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Published: Thu, June 08, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

MP continues to be on boil due to farmers' stir

MP continues to be on boil due to farmers' stir

Farmers in western Madhya Pradesh have been protesting since June 1 demanding cost-based returns for their produce, including higher minimum support prices (MSP) for their produce, as well as waiver of loans totaling around Rs 45,000 crore.

Internet services in Mandsaur, Ratlam and Ujjain remain suspended following the farmers' protests, and a curfew has also reportedly been imposed.

A day after at least five agitating farmers were killed allegedly in police firing in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, the ruling BJP and the principal Opposition Congress here on Wednesday exchanged fireworks over the incident and issues relating to the country's farmers. After the meeting, the chief minister tweeted: "I am happy the farmers have chose to withdraw the strike".

Farmer leaders claimed that eight people had died in police firing on Tuesday. "Farmers are happy in MP", Jha said. In addition to the lack of better prices, farmers are also angry over the land acquisition Act passed by the Chouhan government two months back. "I saw news reports that farmers have burnt vehicles and destroyed railway tracks".

State home minister Bhupendra Singh denied that the police opened fire, saying that "anti-social" elements in the crowd fired bullets.

"And in all the 53,000 villages of the state we will take out a mock funeral of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh".

State police said they could not confirm the toll. In Neemuch district, adjoining district of Mandsaur, a police outpost was torched in Harkiya Khal Phanta area.

The government of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tried to douse the fires by announcing financial compensation for those killed in the violence and said he was ready for talks with farmers.

Madhya Pradesh is one of several states that have suffered dismal rains and crop failures in recent years.

Organisers say police opened fire after the protest turned violent on Tuesday, with some throwing rocks, torching vehicles and firing at riot police.

The prices of fresh produce have more than doubled in cities such as Mumbai, India's main financial center and the capital of Maharashtra.

The protesters in Madhya Pradesh are also demanding that the state government waive repayment of farm loans. Farmers are likely to observe the strike from June 1 to June 10, pressing their demands on the government. "It is preventing communication", he said, adding that demonetisation has hit the farmers the most as it reduced their incomes by 50 per cent. Though the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh called off its strike, the other organisations have continued with the stir.

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