Farmers’ agitation spreads, 6 killed in Mandsaur (MP)

Farmers’ agitation on Tuesday took a toll on six farmers in Madhya Pradesh when police allegedly opened fire. Internet services in three MP districts were suspended as a precautionary measure

PTI photo
PTI photo

NH Web Desk

Farmers’ unrest spread from Maharashtra to Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday when six farmers were said to have lost their lives in ‘police firing’. While Madhya Pradesh (MP) Police denied having opened fire, the Chief Minister announced a compensation of ₹10 lakh each to the kin of each deceased farmer while suspending internet services in three districts.

While a call has been given for a complete shutdown in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan accused opposition Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of having instigated the farmers.

While there was consensus that the MP Government has completely mishandled the farmers’ agitation, Government sources claimed that while the State Government was not in a position to buy everything produced by the farmers, the market ,too, has not been able to absorb the bumper produce, which triggered a fall in prices.

Meanwhile, the farmers' strike in Maharashtra entered the sixth day on Tuesday, with prices of vegetables shooting up in various markets due to short supply. Farmers are on the warpath since June 1 asking the State Government to fulfil their demands, including loan waiver and higher minimum support prices (MSP).

Despite the government announcing a loan waiver for marginal farmers on Saturday, the agitation has continued. In Pune’s Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), the inflow of vegetables and fruits was only about 50% on Tuesday, resulting in their prices going up by three to five times, sources said.

The rural economy has been affected in Nashik, where apart from farmers, potters, tempo drivers and others working in allied fields are losing their jobs, sources said. The daily business of around ₹20-25 crore in 17 major APMCs in Nashik and other smaller market committees has come to a standstill, they added.

Farmers locked the offices of talathi (revenue officer) in some villages of Kolhapur and Nashik districts. In Ahmednagar district, the inflow of vegetables was mere 1% and there was no milk collection, increasing the woes of the people, sources said.

In the district's Puntamba village, the agitating farmers threw vegetables outside the Divisional Commissioner's office. In Amravati too, the protesters dumped vegetables outside the District Collector's office.

Meanwhile, sources said the farmers’ strike in Maharashtra has benefited traders from Surat, Belgaum, Indore and Delhi as the Vasai-Virar region is witnessing an influx of agricultural produce from Surat.

The farmers’ strike has stopped the flow of vegetables from Maharashtra.

“Truck drivers are scared of violent protests. Traders from Surat, Delhi, Indore and Belgaum have thus taken advantage of the strike, increased the prices and the inflow of vegetables in the Vashi APMC has increased by around 30 per cent,” an official from the cooperatives department said.

With PTI inputs

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