In a huge U-turn, the Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday conceded that the five farmers on Tuesday were killed in Mandsaur in police firing.
This was confirmed by Home Minister Bhupendra Singh, who had earlier issued a strong denial.
Explaining his U-turn, Singh said, “It was investigated and proved that the death of farmers happened because of police firing. Initially, the details provided to me were that police firing did not cause it. I later amended my statement after receiving the correct information.”
Meanwhile, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan administration on Thursday stopped the Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, from visiting the violence hit area.
Gandhi was later arrested shortly after being detained before he could go to Mandsaur, the epicentre of the violence.
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 8, 2017
The opposition parties have accused the BJP government of cold-blooded murder of the farmers.
Farmers in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, both BJP-ruled states, have been protesting demanding waiver of their bank loans and increase in minimum support price for their crops.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as an opposition leader, had slammed the then UPA government calling it anti-farmer and promised to increase the MSP for farmers after becoming the prime minister.
Hundreds of farmers have been committing suicides in all BJP ruled states. According to National Crimes Records Bureau, Maharashtra records nearly half of the total number of farmers’ suicides in India. In Madhya Pradesh, more than 1600 farmers ended their lives last year while between 2011 and 2015 a total of 6076 farmers had committed suicide in the state.