Mandsaur: Apparently unnerved ahead of proposed farmers’ stir that starts on June 1, the district administration in Mandsaur, the epicenter of last year’s agitation, has served notices to 1200 locals asking them to offer undertaking that they would be maintaining peace during the stir.
Incidentally, five farmers were killed in police firing in Mandsaur during a protest on June 6 last year while another injured in police lathicharge had succumbed to injuries later.
This time round the farmers’ bodies have announced ‘Gaon Bandh’ in which the farmers would cease to visit cities and towns for 10 days starting from June 1. But the administration is taking no chances and has braced up to meet any eventuality.
To add to administration’s woes, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is slated to address a public rally on June 6 to commemorate the first anniversary of Mandsaur police firing.
As part of the efforts to keep a tab on things, the administration has collected police station wise detail of the elements that could create trouble or could aid those who are planning to disrupt law and order. On the basis of these inputs, the administration has served notices to around 1200 such ‘suspects’.
Those who have received the notices have been told to report to their local police stations.
If the responses they offer are found unsatisfactory, they will be asked to sign a bond of Rs 25,000 under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) - an undertaking to ensure peace.
Violation, if any, could lead to the money being forfeited and a possible jail term.
Among initial list of people who were served notices, included Madhusudan Patidar whose brother, a class XI student, had died in police firing last year on June 6. Patidar is native of Barkheda Pant village in Pipliyamandi area of Malhargarh town in Mandsaur.
The family saddened by the death of the young son had registered strong protest against the administrative high-handedness.
As the outrage gathered momentum, the notice was quashed by the administration. But remaining notices are very much in force and are being executed by the police, claimed locals.
Congress, for obvious reasons, is flaying the move.
Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi told News18 that CM Shivraj should first specify whether he deems farmers criminals or not. Such an effort to mar the agitation under the cloud of terror vindicates that CM Shivraj has done nothing for farmers, had he done that he would have gone among them with his achievements.
Bharatiya Janata Party however gave a new twist to this controversy.
“It’s a routine and legal procedure that is adopted in Mandsaur ahead of VVIP visit,” claimed BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari. Security measures are taken as Rahul Gandhi is an SPG protectee, he said.
“Above all, certain elements are getting support from the Congress and people like Kakkaji and Hardik Patel are acting like Congress party’s B team,” alleged Kothari.
Earlier, with an aim of ‘keeping the communal harmony intact during religious period’, the Mandsaur Collector had clamped prohibitive orders in the town under section 144 of CrPC.