As atrocious police action in Madhya Pradesh made national headlines, Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in the state swung into action sacking the district collector and Superintendent of Police Guna on Thursday while a police probe was ordered into the matter on Wednesday.
Days after a Dalit family was beaten up by cops in MP's Guna district, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state over the issue and asked for strict action against those responsible.
A farm belonging the the Dalit family was also destroyed by the district administration with the help of a JCB machine.
Condemning the incident, the BSP chief on Thursday took to Twitter and said, "To force a couple to attempt suicide by destroying the crops from the JCB machine in the name of encroachment by the Guna Police and Administration of Madhya Pradesh is highly condemnable. The nationwide condemnation of this incident is natural. Government should take strict action."
"On one hand, BJP and their government are going GaGa over rehabilitation of Dalits, while on the other hand, the incidents of their desolation are as common as they used to be under the rule of the Congress Party, so what is the difference between the two governments? Especially Dalits must also think about this," she added.
1. मध्यप्रदेश के गुना पुलिस व प्रशासन द्वारा अतिक्रमण के नाम पर दलित परिवार को कर्ज लेकर तैयार की गई फसल को जेसीबी मशीन से बबार्द करके उस दम्पत्ति को आत्महत्या का प्रयास करने को मजबूर कर देना अति-क्रूर व अति-शर्मनाक। इस घटना की देशव्यापी निन्दा स्वाभाविक। सरकार सख्त कार्रवाई करे। — Mayawati (@Mayawati) July 16, 2020
The Congress also slammed the use of force on the couple and demanded action against those responsible for the incident. Sharing a video of the incident, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, "Our fight is against this mentality and injustice."
हमारी लड़ाई इसी सोच और अन्याय के ख़िलाफ़ है। pic.twitter.com/egGjgY5Awm — Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 16, 2020
The video of police mercilessly beating the farmer and women members of his family went viral in no time and on Wednesday the incident hogged wide space on social media sending jitters to Madhya Pradesh state capital and Home minister Dr Narottam Mishra set up a probe panel of senior police officers by evening regretting the incident.
Earlier PCC chief and Former MP CM Kamal Nath also hit out at the state government over the incident. Re-tweeting about the incident, Nath said "This inhuman act has exposed the autocracy of Shivraj government, this fight is beginning of the end of Shivraj rule."
Any land encroachment could be resolved through legal process and bashing the farmer and his family including kids isn’t justified. "Was it done just because they are farmers and poor," asked Nath. Will they display such courage to free government land from musclemen, he added.
MP Congress too tweeted about the matter saying it took place in Jyotiraditya Scindia’s region and was a display of Shivraj’s ego. "Farmer beaten up, woman’s clothes were torn so a saddened farmer consumes poison," it said.
Former Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia too had called the incident ‘highly unfortunate’.
Well over a lakh messages were tweeted on Wednesday with the subject 'Shivraj_Singh_Istifa do'on Wednesday.
Home minister Dr Narottam Mishra who issued orders for removing collector S Viswanathan and Superintend of Police Tarun Nayak on Thursday, hit back at Congress party saying during Kamal Nath government police-administration used to see prepaid transfers. "When two kids were abducted in Satna, they returned only after their death," added Mishra.
The incident took place on Tuesday when the couple was removed from a plot of government land allotted for a college in Guna city. When officials asked them to vacate the field, they consumed pesticide in protest, a senior official said on Wednesday.
However, their condition was now stable, he said, adding that the police were compelled to use force against them as they resisted the eviction. A video that went viral on social media showed the police beating the man with batons severely while his wife and others were trying to save him.
Taking cognizance of the matter, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered immediate removal of Collector and SP of Guna and directed a high-level inquiry into the incident.
"The (farm) land was reserved for a government model college. Rajkumar Ahirwar (38) and his wife Savitri (35) were working on the land. Gabbu Pardi, who had encroached on the land, had given them work," said district collector S Vishwanathan.
When officials asked them to vacate the field, they protested and drank pesticide at the behest of those who had encroached on the land, he claimed.
The two also refused to go to hospital so the police had to use force to take them to the hospital, added the collector.
(With inputs from Vikas Trivedi in Bhopal and Vikas Dixit in Guna)