A couple drank pesticide in front of police after an encroachment removal squad bulldozed their crops in Guna, Madhya Pradesh, on Tuesday, 14th June. The couple was farming on an encroached government land. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered the removal of the Superintendent of Police Tarun Nayak and Collector S Vishwanathan of Guna after learning about the case.
According to the reports, a major chunk of 45-bighas of government land was encroached by Rajkumar Ahirwar and his wife. They claimed that they were using the land for farming for years. This particular piece of land was allotted for the construction of a college in the Jaganpur Chak area, Guna. The administration tried to clear the said land in November last year as well. At that time, they were blocked by the family of one Gappu Pardhi, who said he owns the land.
The encroachment removal squad damaged the crops sown by a farmer couple using a JCB. The couple pleaded them to stop, but the police refused to listen to them. Following this, the couple drank pesticide in front of the government officials and police. The police tried to force both of them into a jeep. They were beaten up by the police in front of their children. During the said incident, a female cop allegedly ripped off the wife’s sari when she refused to step away from her husband.
Tehsildar N Singh said, “Land has been allotted for college. So people, who had encroached it, were being removed. Both husband and wife consumed pesticide, after which they were admitted to a hospital. Both are in stable condition.”
State Home Minister Dr. Narottam Mishra said in a tweet that he is distressed after watching the video. Such unfortunate incidents should be avoided. The guilty will face strict action.
गुना के कैंट थाना क्षेत्र की घटना का वीडियो देखकर व्यथित हूं। इस तरह की दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण घटनाओं से बचा जाना चाहिए। मैंने तत्काल अधिकारियों को उच्चस्तरीय जांच के निर्देश दिए हैं। भोपाल से जांच दल मौके पर जाकर पूरी घटना की जांच करेगा। जो भी दोषी पाया जाएगा, उसपर कार्रवाई करेंगे। pic.twitter.com/3IfCayNLRg— Dr Narottam Mishra (@drnarottammisra) July 15, 2020
Criticism from the opposition parties
Mayawati, National President, BSP condemned the police action against the couple and demanded strict action against the officers involved in the incident.
1. मध्यप्रदेश के गुना पुलिस व प्रशासन द्वारा अतिक्रमण के नाम पर दलित परिवार को कर्ज लेकर तैयार की गई फसल को जेसीबी मशीन से बबार्द करके उस दम्पत्ति को आत्महत्या का प्रयास करने को मजबूर कर देना अति-क्रूर व अति-शर्मनाक। इस घटना की देशव्यापी निन्दा स्वाभाविक। सरकार सख्त कार्रवाई करे।— Mayawati (@Mayawati) July 16, 2020
Former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath said that this incident is a clear example of “Jungle Raj” under Chouhan’s government. In a searies of tweets, he said, “Where is this Shivraj government taking the state? What kind of jungle raj is this? A large number of policemen on a Dalit peasant couple in Cantt police station area in Guna.”
A photograph of the children crying next to the unconscious mother and videos of police beating the couple went viral on the social media platforms. A high-level inquiry has been ordered from the CM’s office on Wednesday night.