A Madhya Pradesh government appointed commission under Justice JK Jain, that was set-up to investigate last year's Mandsaur firing, has given a clean chit to the cops involved in the incident, Hindustan Times reported.
Farmers had held statewide protests in Madhya Pradesh last year, demanding better prices for their crops. The agitation was marred by violence at many parts in the state, especially in Mandsaur, which emerged as the epicenter of the protests.
Five protesting farmers were killed in police firing in Mandsaur on 6 June 2017, PTI reported. HT reported that another protester died in the police lathi-charge at Daloda, located about 20 km away.
Apart from the state police, the Justice JK Jain commission has also given a clean chit to CRPF personnel involved in firing at agitating farmers in Mandsaur.
Police Forced to Open Fire For “Dispersal” & “Self-Preservation”
A mob had reportedly surrounded eight CRPF men and pelted stones at them, leading to the first incident of police firing at Bahi Pasharvanath in Pipliyamandi. Soon after, five personnel were caught hold of and beaten, the HT report added.
The report, delayed by nine months, did not pin the blame on the then collector Swatantra Kumar Singh or superintendent of police OP Tripathi either, concluding that the police and the CRPF were not to blame for the incident.
The police personnel ended up killing three and injuring three others.
It was cited that they were forced to open fire for “self-preservation” and made to use tear gas shells to “disperse the protesters” who resorted to vandalism.
However, Justice JK Jain said that there is an absence of evidence to support the claim that the mob was armed with guns, and had fired at the police, HT reported.
The report which was delayed by nine months, noted that the information network of the police and state administration was “very weak”, the daily cited.
“We Have Lost Faith in the System”: Farmers Lament
“We have lost faith in the system,” farmers, who lost their kin, told HT.
The farmers’ demands of a loan waiver or higher price for agricultural produce have not been met at the district level, the daily stated.
Slamming the report, senior lawyer Anand Mohan Mathur, who represented the victims’ families, said that they were not allowed to “expose the manipulations” that took place during the protests.
In a statement mentioned in the daily, the Congress said that the report exposes the BJP government’s anti-farmer bias.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times)
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