Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was detained and taken into preventive custody today before he could reach violence-hit Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh to meet families of farmers who lost their lives in police firing.
Rahul Gandhi was on his way to Mandsaur by road as his helicopter was denied landing permission by the local administration yesterday. Neemuch SP Manoj Kumar Singh had maintained that Rahul Gandhi will not be allowed to visit farmers in the violence-hit district of MP.
Speaking to the media on his detention, Rahul Gandhi said he was not given any reason for his arrest.
The Centre has accused Rahul Gandhi of politicising the matter. In a related development, the Madhya Pradesh government has removed Mandsaur Superintendent of Police from his post and transferred District Collector Swatantra Kumar Singh. Om Prakash Srivastava has been appointed as the new collector of Mandsaur.
The Centre also rushed 1,100 anti-riot police personnel to the region as the protests further intensified on Wednesday with protesters setting 8-10 vehicles on fire. Appealing for peace to the agitating farmers in the state, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced more sops for the farmers. The government announced setting up of commission to fix a formula to ensure fair price for crops and agreed for the loan settlement scheme for defaulters. He had earlier announced Rs 1 crore compensation to the kin of those killed in the violence.
The agitating farmers of western Madhya Pradesh are demanding higher minimum support prices for their produce among other demands. The protest had intensified after 6 farmers were killed in police firing during the ongoing protest.