Rajkot: Protests erupted on Thursday in various parts of Saurashtra region in Gujarat, a day after a young farmer in Vinchhiya town here allegedly set himself afire on the issue of increase in cotton MSP even as the state government rejected the demand to set up a inquiry panel to probe the incident.
The farmer also opposed Gujarat government's ongoing Ravi Krushi Mahotsav, demanding raise in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for cotton and groundnut.
Also, the state government had to cancel its Ravi Krushi Mahotsav in Jasdan near Vinchhiya town anticipating large-scale protests by farmers.
"It is painful to hear that farmers have committed suicide in Saurashtra demanding higher price for cotton," Health Minister and government spokesperson Nitin Patel told reporters here today and claimed that his government was taking all possible measures for farmers welfare.
On whether the government wishes to form an inquiry panel to look into farmer suicides, the minister said, "Inquiry panel is not being set up in these type of incidents and police will probe the matter."
Farmer Arvind Bhupat Nagani had yesterday consumed some poisonous substance and thereafter immolated himself pouring kerosene in Vinchhiya marketing yard here.
He was rushed to Rajkot civil hospital in a critical condition where he succumbed to burn injuries soon after. Nagani was resident of Dharai town near Chotila of Surendranagar district.
In another incident, Mahobatsang Gohel consumed pesticide in his farm last night in Vadhwan town in Surendranagar.
Incidentally, both farmers were from Surendranagar district, which produces maximum cotton in the state.
After these deaths, farmers have intensified their agitation across various towns in Saurashtra staging protests and opposing the state government's Krushi Mahotsav.
Vinchhiya town today observed a complete bandh in wake of the incident. The bandh call was given by Bhartiya Kisan Sangh and supported by Congress.
Former Congress MP Kunvarji Bavaliya from Rajkot claimed that the bandh was observed in a peaceful manner and shops and markets in Vinchhiya town voluntarily joined the shutdown.