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Firing on Farmers central India: Probe ordered

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Published: 10:56 GMT, Jun 7, 2017 |
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Strict action will be taken in the matter, said a senior official of India’s central Mandsaur city on Wednesday (June 07) as Madhya Pradesh government ordered a judicial probe into the killings of five farmers who were shot dead at a protest.

Eyewitnesses said the farmers were shot dead by paramilitary forces.

District Collector, Mandsaur, Swatantra Kumar Singh, who went to pacify agitated farmers, said there was no order to open fire.

Seething with rage, the protesters blocked traffic as they sat on road with the body of a deceased farmer and refused to cremate it. Angry protesters heckled Singh and soon a scuffle broke out.

The protests mark an escalation of violence as a rural strike demanding debt relief spreads. The strike began on June 01 in the big western state of Maharashtra, with farmers dumping produce and milk on the street to demand billions of dollars in debt forgiveness and better prices for their produce.

Meanwhile, curfew was imposed in Piplya town of Mandsaur. Prohibitory orders were also imposed under Section 144 (prohibiting any assembly of five or more people) of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in other parts of the city.

Some farmers’ leaders in Maharashtra agreed at the weekend to call off their action after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he would meet their demand for a waiver on farmer loans. Other farm unions vowed to continue the protest.