Farmers killing: Minister admits police fired on them

Published: 11:50 GMT, Jun 8, 2017 |

Minister of India’s central Madhya Pradesh state Bhupendra Singh on Thursday (June 08) admitted five farmers who died during a protest in Mandsaur city were killed in police firing, days after he denied it.

The killings escalated tensions in the Indian heartland with protesters burning vehicles and vandalising public property, forcing authorities to impose restrictions in several parts of the province.

Reportedly, District Collector of Mandsaur, Swatantra Kumar Singh and Superintendent of Police (SP), Omprakash Tripathi, were transferred by the state government for failing to control the situation. Singh had gotten into a scuffle with protesters on Wednesday (June 07).

Meanwhile, Mandsaur continued to be on the edge. Protesters set ablaze a toll plaza in the city after vandalising it. Computers and other electronic devices were smashed; toll plaza employees claimed that cash worth at least 1 million rupees ($15,000) was stolen.

The strike began on June 01 in the big western state of Maharashtra, with farmers dumping produce and milk on the streets to demand billions of dollars in debt forgiveness and better prices for their produce.