New Delhi: Months before Assembly elections, Madhya Pradesh will on Wednesday mark the first anniversary of the Mandsaur firing in which six farmers were killed during protests.
Making agrarian distress an election issue, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address a Kisan Samriddhi Sankalp rally in Khokhra close to Piplia Mandi.
The Mandsaur agitation last year was the epicentre of farmers’ protests across Madhya Pradesh. The subsequent violence and police action triggered demonstrations across states. Similar protests in Maharashtra this year have put agrarian distress at the top of the poll agenda ahead of Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.
How the Mandsaur Protests Escalated
Farmers’ dissent in Mandsaur was at first quiet. Be that as it may, it turned violence with passage of time. The famers revolted, harming railroad tracks and rail route crossing entryways, assaulting policemen and pelting stones at them. They set 27 vehicles ablaze.
As the situation took a turn for the worse, police resorted to firing. One year on, it is not yet clear whether the police fired the first bullet or if it was retaliation to firing by the farmers first. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had requested a legal investigation into the firing.
Politics Over Firing
The firing had triggered a political war of words with the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government accusing the Congress of inciting violence. The opposition party, meanwhile, demanded Chouhan’s resignation over the farmers’ deaths.
A similar confrontation is expected on Wednesday when Gandhi addresses the Kisan Rally. He will also meet the families of farmers, who were killed in last year’s firing.