MP govt 'trying to hide something' in Mandsaur, says Yogendra Yadav
Yogendra Yadav was stopped by the police in the neighbouring Ratlam district on Monday. Photograph: (Zee News Network)
Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday accused the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government of "trying to hide something" by not allowing anyone to visit
Mandsaur, the epicentre of a farmers' agitation in the state.
"One week has passed since the killing of the five protesting farmers in Mandsaur in police firing. By stopping the leaders, who wanted to meet the kin, the government is trying to hide something and that must be revealed," Yogendra Yadav was quoted as saying after he returned from MP.
The Swaraj India president said that in the last week, the government had not allowed any political leader or activist to visit Mandsaur and meet the families of the farmers killed in the violence on June 6.
Yogendra Yadav, and social activists Medha Patkar and Swami Agnivesh were not allowed to meet the families of the farmers on Monday.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and his supporters were stopped today while their way to Mandsaur.
Before their detention, the Congress leaders and their supporters staged a sit-in at the toll booth demanding that they be allowed to visit Mandsaur.
"Why the police is preventing me from going to Mandsaur? This is Hitlershahi (Hitler's rule)," Scindia said.
Quota agitation leader Hardik Patel and Janata Dal (U) leader Akhilesh Katiyar who were briefly arrested while on their way to Mandsaur to meet the families of the farmers.
Hardik Patel led a violent movement in Gujarat last year over a demand for quotas for Patidars.
A senior police official said they were arrested to "prevent the commission of cognizable offences."
The two were, however, released on bail later and transported out of Madhya Pradesh in police vehicles.
Earlier, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was also briefly arrested on June 8 as he tried to make his way to Mandsaur.
The farmers' protest in Madhya Pradesh, which began on June 1, took a violent turn on June 6 after five farmers were killed in police firing at Mandsaur.
The farmers are demanding better prices for their crops and loan waiver.
The agitation subsequently spread to other districts of western Madhya Pradesh including Neemuch, Dhar, Ratlam and Jhabua.
Yogendra Yadav said the farmers in Mandsaur and Neemuch are protesting as they were not getting the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of their crops, as mandated by the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
He alleged the money for the crops that was deposited in the farmers' accounts, was "illegally" deducted by banks without any prior information.