Peace returns, Chouhan breaks fast

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A report in NDTV identified the elderly woman as Kamlabai Mewade, who wanted to meet Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was holding a "peace fast" in response the agitation by Madhya Pradesh's farmers.

With Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ending his indefinite fast for bringing back peace in the state amid raging farmers" protests, the Congress party on Monday dubbed the former's act as sheer "drama' and said in spite of such tactics, the condition of the farmers remains unchanged. "Either they can only talk or crib about the situation", Lekhi told ANI. He has appealed to farmers to come to Dussehra Maidan and have a dialogue with him. Besides, Agricultural Costs and Marketing Commission would also be set up to ensure better prices of the farm produce vis-a-vis cost of crops, the Chief Minister added. Later, protests spread to some other parts of the State. "This is a fast vs fast and it will continue till the time he accedes to our demand", Aam Kisan Union's Kedar Sirohi told IANS. "I know your (farmers) problems", he said while addressing a gathering that included cultivators. "For example, farmers spent about Rs 1,600 to produce a quintal of wheat but the government's rate was around Rs 1,200", he said.

State Ministers and the kin of the peasants killed in police firing earlier urged the Chief Minister to end his fast.

Instead, the narrative changed from the Centre's discrimination against farmers to the Congress party's instigation of farmers as the main cause for the widespread unrest.

In Mumbai, a marathon meeting between farmers and a committee of senior ministers resulted in a truce after the government said it will immediately waive off loans of farmers with less than 5 acre of land.

Violent protests by farmers in Mandsaur spilled over to several other districts, including the Malwa-Nimad area and even reached the state capital.

DNA said that the police dragged her out of her home in Phanda Kala and also accused her of hiding stone pelters inside her house. The state government initially claimed it was not the police who opened fire and admitted it only much later - triggering more protests across the state, some of which had taken place in Sehore.

Farmers also gathered at the Sehore toll plaza on the highway and erected barricades and stopped the traffic, causing a severe jam and inconvenience to hundreds of commuters.

A high-voltage political drama was also witnessed on June 8, when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was detained on his way to Mandsaur to meet the family members of the farmers killed in police firing.

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