BJP ruled Indian State MP farmers’ killing: Catholic religious join protest

MP farmers’ killing: Catholic religious join protest
New Delhi: A group of progressive Catholic religious has joined civil rights groups in India to protest the killing of farmers in Madhya Pradesh.Five farmers died and several were wounded on June 6 in Mandsaur district after police allegedly opened fire during a protest to demand better prices in the drought-ravaged region that clocks among India’s highest farm suicide rates.

Angry farmers ransacked and set ablaze a police station and thrashed several security personnel after the firing, as the administration rushed extra forces and withdrew internet services to tamp down on social media rumors fanning violence.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh told reporters that five people died in two separate incidents.

The Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace, an advocacy group in the Conference of Religious India, said it supported the National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM) in condemning the killing.

Sister Manju Kulapuram, national secretary of the forum, said her group stood in solidarity with the farmers “protesting for their rightful demands.”

The Holy Cross nun, based at Hyderabad, noted that the farmers started their ten-day strike on June 1 to demand loan waivers and fair prices for their produce.

A NAPM statement accuses the Madhya Pradesh government of using violence to silence dissent so that it can save its face after its failure to address people’s concerns.

“The voices cannot be crushed even after suspension of internet services in parts of states like Indore, Ujjain and Dewas all in the western parts of the state. We condemn the foul play of state govt. restricting farmers of the state in reaching out to the people of country for support and solidarity to their demands,” the NAPM statement asserts.

The alliance recalled that on June 4 the state chief minister claimed that he had met a few groups of protesting farmers groups who later called off the protest and agreed to the resolution put up by the government. However the protesters rejected the resolution and continued their agitation. They reiterated that they would compromise on their demands.

Government assurance, the statement says, were “mere tool to silence the resisting voices.” It recalled that the government had betrayed farmers in the past. It accuses the government of acting on behalf of corporate houses.

The alliance has demanded immediate commissioning of judicial enquiry in the alleged killing of farmers by police officials, suspension of all police officials involved in the incident and providing immediate relief to bereaved families. It also wants the government to prove job to one of the family members.

It also appeals all people’s organizations and political parties to support the protesting farmers and hold series of protests in solidarity.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said his government was sensitive to the farmers’ cause, blaming the Congress party for a “conspiracy to fuel violence.” He announced the kin of the deceased will get a compensation of 500,000 rupees each, and the those with serious injuries will get 100,000 rupees each, news agency ANI reported.

The farmers had gathered at Pipalia, some 350 km from state capital of Bhopal.

Sources said many farmers were angry at the lack of government response and torched several vehicles before ringfencing a local police station, forcing personnel to fire at the crowd. Bullet injuries killed three on the spot and the wounded were taken to a local hospital and curfew declared in the district.
By Matters India