Two years after Mandsaur police firings, victims' kin say still waiting for justice -Milind Ghatwai

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published Published on Jun 7, 2019   modified Modified on Jun 7, 2019
-The Indian Express

The BJP, now in the opposition, has accused the Congress of “milking” the Mandsaur case for political gains.

Two years after the death of five protesters in two incidents of police firing near Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, family members of the victims have said they are still waiting for justice.

The death toll would later rise to six after one protester succumbed to injuries allegedly suffered in police custody.

The police firing on June 6, 2017, on groups of farmers demanding fair price for their crops had put the then Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government under tremendous pressure. Late that night, the BJP government had announced compensation of Rs 1 crore each and a job to a family member of each victim. While the unprecedented compensation was transferred to the bank accounts and jobs provided to family members, the main demand to prosecute the police officials who alleged fired at the protesters has not been met.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Kamal Nath, paying tribute to the victims of the “barbaric firing”, reiterated that his government was committed to punishing the guilty and to withdraw false cases against lodged against innocent farmers.

Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had undertaken a fast in Bhopal after the Mandsaur incident, said the present government has announced withdrawal of cases. “I promise annadatas (farmers) that not one officer responsible for the incident will be spared,” Scindia posted on Twitter.

Home Minister Bala Bachchan told The Indian Express that the government was going through the judicial probe report in the Mandsaur firing case. A one-man judicial commission appointed by the BJP government had blamed the protesters for attacking the police. He said the current government might order another inquiry if it was not satisfied .

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The Indian Express, 7 June, 2019,

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