20:11 GMT +319 June 2019
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    Indian police officers stand guard on a street in the capital of the Indian state of Goa (File)

    Indian Farmers Protest Low Price of Produce, Six Shot Dead in Police Firing

    © AFP 2019 / SAM PANTHAKY
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    Six farmers have been killed in police firing in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh as a farmers protest turned violent. The farmers were demanding a better price for their produce after two successive drought years.

    Drought-stricken farmers from India's southern state of Tamil Nadu display the skulls of farmers who have committed suicide due to rising debts at a protest in New Delhi on March 27, 2017
    © REUTERS / Thomson Reuters Foundation / Nita Bhalla
    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Following the shooting, angry farmers have ransacked government properties and set ablaze 10 police vehicles. Thousands of farmers are protesting against the incident and situation remains tense in Mandsaur and the state. Internet services have been blocked for the region to clamp down on rumors that may spread through social media.

    Millions of farmers in the region have declared a strike and stopped supply of essential edibles in protest against below input cost market price of farm produce and unsustainable farm loans. Government data suggests that 1,695 farmers had committed suicide between February and November last year in Madhya Pradesh.

    Farmers are also on strike in another state, Maharashtra, for the last one week. Maharashtra has one of highest suicide rate of farmers in India. A large number of farmers have committed suicide in the state due to crop failures mainly in the region where US-based MNC Monsanto aggressively sold its Bt Cotton to farmers.

    Farm loan waiver is a big electoral issue in India as many farmers are unable to repay bank loans due to poor productivity and price. It may be recalled that farmers from the southern state of Tamil Nadu protested in the Indian capital for almost a month. They had gone naked when Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office denied their request to meet the Prime Minister.



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