Farmer killed as violence erupts in MP town

Protests over wheat procurement and shortage of jute bags at Bareli town took a violent turn with a farmer killed in police firing.

Raisen: Protests over wheat procurement and shortage of jute bags at Bareli town near here took a violent turn on Monday with a farmer killed in police firing and about 40 farmers and some officials injured.

An indefinite curfew has been imposed in the town.

Former sarpanch Hari Singh Prajapati was killed in police firing while three others sustained bullet injuries, police said.
Raisen Collector Mohanlal Meena and SP I P Kulshrestha among other officials and about 35-40 farmers also sustained injuries in the violence, police said.

The farmers who were seriously injured were rushed to Bhopal, they said.

The farmers were enraged over delay in procurement of wheat at the designated centres and staged a road blockade at NH-12 (Jaipur-Jabalpur). They allegedly attacked police with sticks and set afire nearly half-a-dozen vehicles belonging to police and administrative officials.

Police then cane-charged the agitating farmers, fired in the air and bursted teargas shells to control them, the sources said, adding officials first imposed section 144 in the town and later the Raisen collector and SP after reviewing the situation imposed curfew in the town.

The situation is tense but under control, police said.

The farmers gathered in strength at Bareli after the alleged suicide committed by a farmer, Bhagwan Singh Rajput yesterday at Manpur Wheat Procurement Centre in the district on the call of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, an affiliate of RSS to protest shortage of jute bags, mismanagement at these centres and involvement of middlemen in the process.

Terming the farmer`s death as highly unfortunate, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan constituted a high-level committee to probe the incident.

"Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Indranil Shankar Dani will probe the incident in which a farmer was killed," he announced at a hurriedly called press conference in Bhopal.

He also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh as an immediate assistance to the family of the farmer.

Chouhan said that whosoever is behind this incident will not be spared.

"Let the probe get completed first and then we will take action. Nobody will be spared," he stressed.

Meanwhile, BKS`s Madhya Pradesh unit President Shivkumar Sharma and 41 others were arrested by the police on charges of arson, attempt to murder and causing damage to public and private property among others, police said.

A total of 24 policemen including two town inspectors sustained injuries in the violent incidents.

Chouhan assured the agitating farmers that the government would procure "each and every grain of wheat" produced by them.

He also highlighted steps taken by the government for getting bales of jute bags and arrangements made for procuring wheat in HDPE bags.

He alleged that the Centre has failed to provide 2.69 lakh bales of jute bags as promised and order for which was placed in November 2011 and February, leading to the crisis adding till April 25, only 1.73 lakh bales of jute bags were supplied by the Centre.

The state has so far procured 46 lakh MT of wheat.


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