Madhya Pradesh police abandons detained Karnataka farmers at state border; ryots to stay in Ayodhya

Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers Association representative K Nagaraj said that the police did not inform them when they deboarded.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Feb 15, 2024 | 4:21 PMUpdatedFeb 15, 2024 | 4:21 PM

Karnataka farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya after abandoned by Madhya Pradesh police. (Supplied)

The arrest and the further developments of some Karnataka farmers took a surprising turn when the Madhya Pradesh police who arrested them abandoned them at the state border in the early hours of Thursday, 15 February.

The Madhya Pradesh Police were taking farmers from Karnataka to Varanasi but de-boarded the train, without communicating with the farmers, at the interstate border between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

The farmers who were arrested in Bhopal while travelling to join the farmers’ unions’ “Delhi Chalo” protest were under their custody for the last four days.

Also Read: Karnataka farmers shifted to Varanasi from Ujjain

‘Did not inform us’

Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers Association’s Mysuru and Chamarajanagar wing general secretary K Nagaraj, one among the arrested farmers, said that the police did not inform them when they deboarded

Nagara told South First: “The Madhya Pradesh police got off the train at the last station under their state’s jurisdictions. They did not communicate with us while deboarding.”

“They did not provide us any food last evening and night while we were travelling. They ill-treated us and left us midway while taking us to Varanasi. However, we got down at Ayodhya,” added Nagaraj.

He also said that the Uttar Pradesh Police asked the farmers to come along with them but they refused and booked rooms in private lodges.

“Our association president Kurbur Shanthakumar is still in Delhi. The Union government is holding a meeting with the farmers in Chandigarh today (Thursday). Based on the outcome of the meeting, we will take a call on whether to return to Karnataka or head to Delhi,” Nagaraj said adding that that they would continue to stay in Ayodhya.

Around 100 farmers, including 30 women, were in the custody of the Madhya Pradesh police since 12 February.

Also Read: Congress asks Modi to apologise to farmers for going back on MSP promise

Karnataka CM writes to Madhya Pradesh CM

Expressing discontent over detaining Karnataka’s farmers, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote a letter to his counterpart in Madhya Pradesh, Mohan Yadav, on Thursday, demanding the immediate release of the farmers.

In a letter addressed to Yadav, Siddaramaiah said: “A group of farmers from Karnataka travelling from Bengaluru to Delhi to participate in a protest against the anti-farmer politics of the central government have been detained in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh without any reason.”

“It is four days since on farmers have been detained and yet they have not been released. It is now learnt that your police authorities are shifting them to Varanasi.”

“Travelling to Delhi to participate in a peaceful protest is the Constitutional right of the people. It is highly unfortunate that farmers who are seeking better policies are being arrested and ill-treated by police authorities in Madhya Pradesh,” Siddaramaiah wrote demanding an immediate intervention of Yadav to ensure the release of farmers.

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Karnataka officials in touch with the farmers

The farmers from Karnataka told South First that even after four days of detention none of the elected members or officials from Karnataka bothered to contact them. Finally, officials from Karnataka communicated with the farmers on Thursday.

The state government is also making efforts to bring back farmers from Uttar Pradesh, claimed officials.

Additional Chief Secretary to the chief minister and finance department LK Atheeq told South First: “The state government has taken up the issue with the Madhya Pradesh government. CM has also written a letter to the government for the immediate release of farmers.”

“It is unfortunate that they were shifted from one place to another every day. After ascertaining the latest development in Madhya Pradesh, we will take further decisions to bring back farmers. Our officials and MLA Darshan Puttanaiah are in contact with the farmers as well,” stated LK Atheeq.