Gandhi was trying to enter Madhya Pradesh from Rajasthan along with many senior Congress leaders and supporters to meet the bereaved families of the farmers killed in Police firing at Pipalya Mandi in Mandsaur district on Tuesday.
Gandhi tried to dodge the police by riding pillion a motorcycle to enter Madhya Pradesh. When he was stopped by the police, the Congress leader, who was surrounded by SPG men, pushed his way through and after walking some distance left the road and started walking through the field with a big crowd of supporters but shortly thereafter, the police managed to have a better of him and he was taken into detention along with many of his supporters. They were then taken to a cement company’s guesthouse in a police vehicle.
The police did not allow him to enter Mandsaur and meet the bereaving families as prohibitive orders under Section 144 of CrPC had been imposed in that area.
Talking to reporters before he was detained, Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi can waive loans to the tune of Rs. 1,50, 000 crore taken by the country’s rich but can’t waive the loans for farmers or give them the right rates for their agricultural produce, bonus and compensation. He can only give them bullets, he added.
Gandhi further said Modi and Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan were responsible for the deaths of farmers in Mandsaur.
Senior leaders, including Rajasthan Congress President Sachin Pilot and Madhya Pradesh legislator Jaiwardhan Singh also courted arrest with Mr. Gandhi.
In a related development, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh today told the media that there were five persons who had died in police firing during farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur.
The situation in Mandsaur since Tuesday’s violence has continued to remain tense. The Police was on high alert and two companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed at Pipalya Mandi. Similarly two RAF companies had been moved into the Garoth area while two more of the RAF companies were assigned the task of maintaining peace along the Neemuch Highway.