Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Calls Off 'Peace Fast' After 28 Hours

He assured farmers that violence in Mandsaur will be thoroughly investigated and strict action will be taken against those found guilty

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Calls Off 'Peace Fast' After 28 Hours

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Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ended his fast with coconut water.

Bhopal:  Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan ended his "peace fast" this afternoon after almost 28 hours and assured farmers that their demands will be considered and acted on. He also thanked his supporters who accompanied him at Bhopal's Dussehra Maidan.

"We have received wide support from Bharatiya Kisan Sangh & other groups. I am indebted & grateful to them," the Chief Minister's office tweeted.

Those instigating violence will not be spared, Mr Chouhan said and added, "Justice will be done and culprits will be punished."
He also said that the farmers will be compensated for their losses.
The families of five farmers who died in police firing during protests last week in Mandsaur, had last night urged him to call off his fast. Early this morning, when he sat on a fast with his wife Sadhana on the side and a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi behind him, the Chief Minister said, "I have always tried to everything possible to help the farmers. Their problems are ours. They are our own."

Mandsaur, the epicentre of farmers' protest, had been on the boil since last week. As hundreds of farmers held a protest there on Wednesday - demanding better prices for their crops and loan waivers - the police opened fire to control the crowd. Five farmers died on the spot, and one - who was allegedly detained by the police - died later in the hospital. Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had initially issued a strong denial about police's involvement, but confirmed it later.

As protests erupted across the state after the firing, the Chief Minister began what came to be dubbed a "peace fast".

The Chief Minister had appealed to farmers to come and discuss their problems with him at the maidan. "Your labour won't go waste," he told them. "I know of the bumper crop production that sent the prices crashing. I know your problems," he said.

He announced that the state government will buy farm produce and give profitable prices to farmers. He is also believed to be considering waiving interest on farm loans, which could benefit more than six lakh farmers at a cost of around 2,000 crore to the taxpayer.

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