New Delhi, June 19 (IANS) The Congress on Monday demanded filing of a criminal case against the officers who ordered the “killing of farmers” in Madhya Pradesh during the peasants’ agitation on June 6.
The party said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre was anti-farmer and that they wanted to have a “kisan-mukt bharat” (India without farmers).
“We demand that a criminal case be lodged against those officers who ordered firing in Mandsaur that led to the killing of six farmers. Prompt action must be taken against them so that the farmers’ families get justice,” Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia told media persons here.
Scindia also said it was the responsibility of the central government to waive off the loans of farmers, adding that the Congress’ campaign for the sake of rights of farmers would continue.
“If the government can waive off loans worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore of corporate houses, then why not Rs 5.3-lakh crore loans of the farmers?” said Scindia.
The farmers’ agitation turned violent on June 6 in Mandsaur after a mob pelted stones at police. In retaliation, police opened fire in which five farmers were killed and one later succumbed to injuries.
“One will be surprised to see the key points of the inquiry commission set up by the Madhya Pradesh government. There is no mention of the point that the persons who fired at the farmers must be held responsible. People involved in firing are on the run,” Scindia added.
He also said that 13 farmers had committed suicide in the past 10 days and they were “between 17 and 35 years of age”. “They were the sole bread winners of their families. Out of these, four farmers were from Chief Minister (Shivraj Singh Chouhan)’s constituency.”
Scindia alleged that the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government also indulged in a “bidding game” on the compensation amount to be given to the farmers’ families.
“They first said, they would give Rs 1 lakh, then they went up to Rs 5 lakh and then to Rs 10 lakh. Finally, they said they will give Rs 1 crore each to the families of the killed farmers.
“The families were even threatened that if they did not attend Chief Minister Chouhan’s fast in Bhopal, they won’t be given the compensation money. This is the kind of sensitivity the government has,” he added.
“The NDA government is anti-farmer, they want to have a ‘kisan-mukt bharat’. They haven’t yet fulfilled their promise of loan waiver for all farmers. There is a huge gap between what they say and what they do,” he added.
Scindia sat on a three-day fast on Wednesday in Bhopal demanding loan waiver and “justice” for the farmers in Madhya Pradesh.
The farmers of state launched their agitation on June 1 demanding loan waiver and “appropriate price” for their produce.
“Outside every mandi, there is six to eight kilometre long queue of tractors in Madhya Pradesh and around 1,000 farmers can be seen waiting there for the buyers of their produce to show up. Demonetisation was the biggest reason for such a condition of the farmers,” he added.
“If Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra can waive off loans, why can’t Madhya Pradesh? why loan waiver is not an issue for the government despite 21,000 farmers committing suicide in three years in the state?” said Scindia.