Mandsaur (Madhya Pradesh): The ongoing farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh took a violent turn on Tuesday when five protesters were killed in firing on Mandsaur-Neemuch highway some 325 kms from the state capital Bhopal, according to media reports.
To compound the already tense situation in the area, there are conflicting reports regarding the firing with Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh told that the police did not shoot at the crowd while police saying otherwise.
"There was no firing by the police," he said while talking to NDTV, adding that an investigation has been launched.
Singh also praised the police for showing remarkable resilience despite the attempts to intensify the stir in the last 5-6 days.
The Home Minister also claimed that bullets were shot by "anti-social elements."
Local officers however differed with the Home Minister and claimed the responsibility of the firing.
"Around 2 pm, in order to control the agitated farmers, the police had to open fire in which two farmers died and several others were injured", Ujjain Division Commissioner OM Jha however told news agency IANS.
The farmers in Madhya Pradesh and neighboring Maharashtra are protesting since last week demanding better remuneration for their produce and also a loan waiver.
The protesting farmers burned several vehicles last night and were in no mood to relent on Tuesday morning. The agitation disrupted traffic movement on the Mandsaur highway.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a judicial probe into the incident.