Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Shivraj Singh Chouhan ends fast, striking farmers' group calls off stir

Shivraj Singh Chouhan ends fast, striking farmers' group calls off stir

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan officially ended his "fast for peace" on Sunday afternoon, which he had begun on Saturday in the wake of farmers' protests and violent clashes in Mandsaur. Farmers in Madhya Pradesh began a 10-day protest on June 1 to press for loan waivers and fair price for their produce.

The state government has started buying onion for Rs 8 per kg from the farmers, while Moong and Urad pulses too will be bought at Minimum Support Price (MSP), the CM said. He should go to the farmers and ask them personally what do they all need. It bolstered his image as a pro-farmer chief minister even though he had done little to assuage the woes of farmers.

While appealing to the farmers to come forward and discuss all the issues, the Chief Minister further said he would not call off his hunger strike unless there is peace in the state.

"The home ministry is in touch with the neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh and asked them to keep strict vigil on the prevailing situation", a home ministry official said. He said an Agricultural Costs Marketing Commission would be constituted to fix the input cost of crops to ensure that farmers got remunerative prices for their produce.

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Protests had spread to other cities including Neemuch, Dewas and Ujjain.

BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan had claimed that the family members of those killed in police firing at Mandsaur on Tuesday have requested the CM to call off his fast. "I know your (farmers) problems", he said addressing a gathering, including cultivators, here.

State Ministers and the kin of the peasants killed in police firing earlier urged the Chief Minister to end his fast.

Sources at MY Hospital in Indore, where the farmer was taken on Thursday night, said he was brought dead on arrival and that his body bore signs of assault.

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Chouhan said once anarchy struck roots in the state, it would be hard to reverse the situation.

Congress' Shivpuri MLA Shakuntala Khatik is seen in the video repeatedly inciting the party workers and farmers accompanying her to burn down the nearby police station.

Chouhan said the Government had extended Rs4,800 crore as relief amount to farmers when their soyabean crop was destroyed past year.

On the allegation that 26-year-old farmer Ghanashyam Dhakad died in police custody, the district collector said the authorities were looking into the charge and that appropriate action would be taken if anyone was found guilty. He also thanked his supporters who accompanied him at Bhopal's Dussehra Maidan.

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There will be no land acquisition without the consent of affected farmers. Five farmers died on the spot, and one - who was allegedly detained by the police - died later in the hospital.

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