Police orders farmers to strip after protest in Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand

Police orders farmers to strip after protest in Madhya Pradesh's Bundelkhand

Bundelkhand/Madhya Pradesh, October 4: The farmers who were protesting at Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh were forced to strip down to their underwear and sit in a police station for hours on Tuesday. A large group of farmers was sitting in a room in their underwear.

The farmers gathered at a government office and presented a list of demands to the district administration. The Bharatiya Janata Party alleges that the protest by the farmers was organized by the Congress. The protest turned violent, then the police used batons, teargas, and water cannons. The farmers said that they were detained at the police station, beaten up and forced to strip.

The condition of Indian farmers is alarming at a daily basis. It is due to several socio-economic aspects. Farmers fall into debts because they have to face scarcity in crops productivity. This results in increasing the risk of their profit and high cost of living. It creates a vicious cycle and farmers suffer from mental distress. And farmers see suicide as the only option for their families.

The Congress alleges that the farmers were humiliated and assaulted in the police station and Congress has assured that the case would be taken to the state human rights body with photographs and other evidence. The police claimed that their men were injured in stone throwing by the farmers.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that “The Maharashtra government cannot tolerate violent protests. Congress unnecessarily created a situation in which lathis and stones were used and spoiled the atmosphere.” Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that he had asked for a report regarding the stripping on farmers. The State Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said he had asked the police chief to investigate whether farmers were forced to strip or they did it deliberately.

Bhupendra Singh said that “It was a  Congress campaign and there was stone-throwing. We have heard about the stripping, we are waiting for an inquiry report. We need to know whether the allegation is political and whether the police disrobed them or the farmers stripped in protest. Bundelkhand has witnessed aggressive farmer protests and demands for loan waivers recently after a long spell of drought and failed crop. In June, five farmers were killed in police firing during protests.