Mandsaur violence: In big admission, MP Home minister says police firing killed 5 farmers
Days after the death of five peasants in Mandsaur demanding loan waivers and higher crop prices in the state, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister on Thursday admitted that the probe initiated by the state government has confirmed that the deaths were a result of police firing.
“Death of the five farmers was due to police firing. It has been established in probe. I have said earlier that the farmers may have died in police firing. I have conceded this earlier, various channels have also ran it,” said Singh.
Asked about what provoked the police to fire, the home minister said it is being probed in the magisterial inquiry. However, he said the situation was now peaceful in western Madhya Pradesh.
Singh’s admittance comes after Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led MP government’s repeated denial to claims that the farmers died in police firing.
The state Home minister had earlier said that anti-social elements had infiltrated the farmers’ protest and fired at the crowd.
The minister's remarks assume significance as the authorities had been claiming that the police had not fired during protests at Pipliamandi in Mandsaur district in which five farmers were killed two days ago.
Yesterday, Singh had categorically denied involvement of police forces in the incident. Singh, who had on Tuesday said that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered to investigate the firing, had yesterday maintained that there "was no order to open fire."
Minutes after the incident, the then Mandsaur Collector SK Singh had told PTI that the police told him categorically that "neither did they fire nor did they have any orders to fire".
The farmers’ uprising in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra has not only posed serious problems for the respective governments in both the states but for the Narendra Modi government as well which had promised to ensure that the farmers are freed from a cycle of debts.