On Tuesday 6 farmers were killed in police firing at Mandasaur in Madhya Pradesh. The protests turned violent as a result of which the police opened fire. There were horrific scenes reported from Mandasaur which is around 325 kilometres away from the capital, Bhopal.
The farmers have been protesting since June 1 demanding a demanding minimum support price for their farm produce. The Chief Minister of MP, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that price stabilisation fund of Rs 1,000 crore would be established to procure the farm produce at the minimum support price (MSP).
The Bharatiya Kisan Sangh which is affiliated to the RSS had suspended its agitation. But the rest of the groups refused to budge. While calling off the agitation, the BKS had said that the government had accepted most of its demands such as buying onions at Rs 8 per kg and also paying farmers half their dues at mandis in cash and rest via electronic transfer to their bank accounts.
However the Bharatiya Kisan Union refused to budge and said that the agitation would go on.
In Maharashtra where the farmers are protesting, the demand is for a loan waiver. Farmers cited the decision taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath who had waived offf farm loan worth Rs 36,359 crore. Similar demands were raised by farmers in Maharashtra, which witnessed the highest number of farmer suicides between 2014 and 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, the state saw an 18 per cent jump from 2,568 to 3,030.
The worst hit areas in Maharashtra was the Marathwada region. The reliance in this region is very heavy on crops such as sugarcane which are water guzzlers. There has been a dwindling of prices for their crops and this is the main reason for the uprising in the state.
The agitation in Maharashtra continued into its 6th day despite Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promising a loan waiver to small and marginal farmers who were out of the 'institutional credit system.
The farmers have taken to the streets and even shut down wholesale markets as a result of which vegetable prices have gone up. The state also faces a milk crisis. The farmers had dumped produce and milk on the street, and blocked highways while preventing delivery trucks from reaching city markets.