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Mandsaur Farmer Deaths Probe Panel Gives Clean Chit to Police; Says Firing 'Justified'

The report, a copy of which is with News18, has clearly given a clean chit to the police. The report mentions that it was ‘required and justified’ to open fire on the mob to bring things under control.

Manoj Sharma | News18

Updated:June 20, 2018, 7:13 AM IST
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Mandsaur Farmer Deaths Probe Panel Gives Clean Chit to Police; Says Firing 'Justified'
Picture for Representation. (Photo: PTI)
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Bhopal: As the clamour around farmers' loan waiver grows and the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh approaches, families of farmers who lost their lives in the Mandsaur police firing last year, have once again voiced their discontent with the administration's dispensation of justice.

"We had high hopes that the six deceased farmers, including my son, would get justice. But that has not been delivered to us. If the judge, who is referred to as the God of justice, failed to ensure justice to us, then we have left everything to the almighty now," were the dejected words of Alka Patidar, mother of Abhishek Patidar, a teen who was among the six farmers killed in Mandsaur last year.

The statement of the aggrieved mother comes after Justice (Retd) JK Jain submitted a report to the Madhya Pradesh government, assigning clean chit to the police personnel who opened fire on the farmers on June 6, 2017.

The report, a copy of which is with News18, has clearly given a clean chit to the police. The report mentions that it was ‘required and justified’ to open fire on the mob to bring things under control.

The report, which has already been submitted to the state government, is being examined by the government.

The MP Cabinet is yet to take a call on the tabling of its bills in the upcoming Monsoon Session of the assembly, which begins from June 25.

The report claims that the situation was volatile in Mandsaur city, Daloda and Malhargarh towns and the law and order was crumbling. Despite prohibitive orders in force, the violent mob kept protesting aggressively. Tear gas shells were lobbed on the protesters, which proved ineffective. Even lathicharge failed to deter protesters, who were ‘quite prepared’ to harm the police.

“The lives of policemen present inside the thana in Piplayamandi were at risk. They had no other option but to open fire in self defence and disperse the mob, which prompted them to fire shots.”

“Based on evidence presented before the commission, it seemed that the act of firing was required and justified,” the report states.

However, the report also claims that the farmers' agitation turned violent due to weak intelligence of the district administration and police. “The shots should have been fired on the legs as per the norms but this was not adhered to by the cops,” observes the report.

The firing had killed five while six others had sustained injuries. Afterwards, the state government had announced an ex-gratia of Rs one crore each, to the next of kin of those killed in the firing and Rs five lakh each to those injured.

The report also observes that whatever steps were taken by the district administration prior to the incident, were not sufficient. Moreover, due to an apparent lack of communication between the farmers and government officers, the district administration was unaware about the demands and problems of the farmers.

However, there was no mention of adverse remarks in the report on the then Mandsaur Collector and SP, who were suspended after the incident.

The report was submitted to Addl Chief Secretary (General Administration) Prabhanshu Kamal a few days ago. He has forwarded it to Principal Secretary (Home) Malay Shrivastava for further action. The commission was to submit the report within three months of its formation, but its tenure was extended four times.

Meanwhile, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party seemed clueless about the submission of the report. “We don’t have any information about this report. Perhaps this report would be tabled in the assembly during the upcoming Monsoon Session,” BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari told News18.

Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi termed this as another misdeed of ‘Kisan Hatyari’ government of MP.

“If farmers are killed and state government gives clean chit to the police, then it’s highly condemnable,” he said, adding that the Congress would press hard that the report is tabled in the assembly.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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