Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled Madhya Pradesh government is again facing ire of the opposition after the state police allegedly locked down some farmers, stripped them to underwear and made them sit in the police station in Bundelkhand for hours. The incident took place on Tuesday, when dozens of farmers in MP gathered in front of the collectorate in Bundelkhand’s Tikamgarh to present a list of demands to the district administration. According to a police official, after a while, the protest turned violent and the farmers started throwing rocks.
According to a Congress leader backing the protest, the farmers were protesting peacefully, but the matter got heated after the authorities gave a deaf ear to the farmer’s demands. The leader further added that they would be approaching country’s Human Rights commission with the pictures showing the harshness of government and authorities towards farmers.
Talking to HT, local Congress leader Yadvendra Singh said, “Due to this protesters started losing their cool. The police used force and between 25 to 30 farmers were injured. When I reached home, I received information that around 30-40 farmers from MP have been detained by police at Dehat police station. I went there and found they had been beaten up. They were made to sit just in their underwear”.
“It is a clear violation of human rights and I will file a complaint with video and photos to NHRC and State Human Rights Commission. Tomorrow we have called for Tikamgarh bandh on this issue”, he added.
Meanwhile commenting on the matter, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that his government cannot tolerate violent protests. Refuting Congress’ claims the Minister blamed Opposition for tying to harm the peace in the state.
“The Congress unnecessarily created a situation in which lathis and stones were used and vitiated the atmosphere,” CM Chouhan told reporters. However, he said that he had sort a report when asked about the stripping charge.
Following the chief minister’s remarks, state home minister Bhupendra Singh asked the police chief to investigate whether the farmers were forced to strip or they did it voluntarily. Bhupendra Singh said that it was a Congress’ campaign and there was stone-throwing. Authorities have heard about the stripping, and are waiting for an inquiry report.
Earlier in June, Madhya Pradesh‘s Bundelkhand was in headlines after it saw violent protests over loan waiver. During the protests around five farmers were killed by the police. The farmers had started using all means to stop authorities from entering the area.