"Officer Told Us To Skip": Mandsaur Farmer's Family On Rahul Gandhi Rally

Rahul Gandhi in Mandsaur: At Rahul Gandhi's 'Kisan Samriddhi Sankalp Rally' today, family members of some of the farmers killed in police firing will share the stage with the Congress chief

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'Officer Told Us To Skip': Mandsaur Farmer's Family On Rahul Gandhi Rally

Abhishek Patidar's mother Mamata Patidar said the family is being threatened.


Bhopal:  The parents of a farmer who died in police firing in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur last year say they have been asked by district officials to skip the rally Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is holding today. The families of six men killed during the farmers' protests, the news of which seared the country, have been invited to the rally. Some of them are expected to share stage with the Congress chief.

Parents of Abhishek Patidar, who died last year, said the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the area called their other son and "asked who among us will meet Rahul Gandhi". "When my son told him that his parents are going, the SDM said ask them to not meet Rahul Gandhi," they said.  

Abhishek Patidar's brother has been given a job by the state government as part of the compensation package. But the families say the officer responsible is yet to be punished. Jagdish Patidar alleged that the Criminal Investigation Department was closely tracking the family's movement.

Abhishek Patidar's mother Mamata Patidar said the family is being threatened. "We are scared as the CM has given a job to my son... He (the sub-divisional magistrate) has no right to stop us from meeting anyone. How can he threaten us? Now nothing bad should happen to him (our son). We can't even sleep in peace".

On the first anniversary of the protests, the Mandsaur farmers, have been forced to sign a bond saying they will maintain peace. The administration had sought the guarantee in view of their plans to mark the event with a "Gaon bandh" - a 10-day protest starting July 1, during which no produce will be sold.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who will be seeking a fourth term in power in the assembly elections later this year, visited Mandsaur earlier this week. Mr Chouhan had been severely criticized by the Congress and the other opposition parties last year after the police had opened fire to quell the protests, which had spread across the state within a few weeks.

Today, ahead of Rahul Gandhi's visit, the BJP hit back. Hashtag #GoBackRahul trended on Twitter and a tweet from the party handle read:
 
Insisting the family has no interest in politics, Mamata Patidar said, "Why will the administration stop us, we are just farmers".

Recalling how Rahul Gandhi had tried to meet the dead farmers' families last year, but was stopped by the police, she said, "Now he is coming again, he has invited us and we want to meet him. When he wanted to come and meet us, he wasn't allowed. And now they are stopping us... So today, for sure, we will go."


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