Centre seeks report on MP farmers’ stir

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The situation, officials added, is expected to become normal within the next two-three days.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Concerned over the apparent political fallout of the farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district, which turned violent on Tuesday claiming six lives, the Centre government has sought a detailed report from the state government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held detailed discussions on the issue with his senior ministerial colleagues immediately after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The home ministry, sources said, wants to specifically know as to who fired on the agitating farmers, resulting in the casualties. In a bid to contain the violence, the Centre has already rushed 600 personnel of Rapid Action Force to the trouble hit area even as 500 more are being sent.

Senior ministry officials are in touch with the state administration to discuss various measures being taken to help normalise the situation. The ministry officials claimed the situation remained tense, though under control, in areas like Mandsaur, Inasmuch and Rattle even as curfew and Section 144 of Croc, which bans large gathering of people, has been clamped in some parts of these areas.

Home ministry officials admitted that the extent of Tuesday’s violence clearly reveals that neither the state administration had any local intelligence on the mobilisation of farmers nor was it prepared fully prepared to handle the violent agitation. The situation, officials added, is expected to become normal within the next two-three days.

Farmers have been protesting since June 1 in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, demanding loan waivers and higher minimum support prices among other benefits.

The home ministry has assured all support to the State government, saying if required additional reinforcements could also be rushed.

Sources said the Cabinet meeting, which began at 10.30am, lasted over three hours, as the PM is understood to have held discussions with home minister Rajnath Singh over the issue, soon after the cabinet agenda items were dispensed away with.