The Madhya Pradesh government's "failure" to respond to the problems of farmers "distressed" by a steep fall in prices due to bumper production resulted in the violence in Mandsaur, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) leaders said today. A delegation of Kisan Sabha led by its general secretary Hannan Mollah and others visited Madhya Pradesh and met the families of two farmers who were killed in police firing in Mandsaur last week. Mollah said they found a situation of "accute distress" in the region as the prices of most of the crops have crashed due to good production. "The farmers are hardpressed as not only the MSP is much below the cost of production but also because no procurement centres have been opened.
Even after a week of Mandsaur police firing incident neither any MP, nor MLA or senior official visited the area to talk to the affected families," he said in a press conference here. On June 6, five farmers were killed as the agitation by peasants turned violent in Mandsaur. Besides, a 26-year-old farmer had died in Badwan village of Mandsaur district. Locals on June 9 had alleged that he was beaten up by policemen. The AIKS leaders including its president Amra Ram, Vijoo Krishnan and Rajya Sabha MP K Somaprasad also alleged that the MP Police was "extorting" money from the farmers by threatening to include their names in the over 574 unnamed persons booked in Mandsaur after the violence and arson. Expressing concerns over the recent killings of farmers in MP, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Rajasthan, Mollah said that AIKS will hold a "Rasta Roko" protest across the country on July 16. The Kisan Sabha also "condemned" the "insensitive" position of the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that states will have to bear the entire burden of farm loan-waiver they have announced. "The farmers say they do not need a loan-waiver what they need is remunerative prices but the government is not able to provide it to them," he said. The organisation demanded the MP government provide compensation to the families of the farmers killed and also job and education facilities to their dependents. The government should also withdraw all the cases registered against the farmers and immediately start talks with them to address their demands including 50 per cent more MSP than the cost of production and a comprehensive loan waiver, Mollah added.