Mandsaur (MP) : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today headed to Mandsaur - the epicentre of the farmers' agitation - as the Shivraj Chouhan government stepped up security in areas witnessing protests and transferred the two top officials of the district which witnessed the death of five farmers.
As Mandsaur district remained tense today, contingents of Rapid Action Force were deployed.
The Neemuch-Mhow Highway has been barricaded by police which has stepped up security in the state and the areas bordering Rajasthan from where the Congress vice president is set to enter Madhya Pradesh.
Superintendent of Police of Neemuch Manoj Kumar Singh said the Congress leader will not be allowed to enter the violence-hit district where the situation remains tense.
If the Congress leader tries to enter the district, he will be detained, the SP said.
The Congress yesterday termed as "coldblooded murder" the killing of five farmers in police firing in Madhya Pradesh and questioned the prime minister's silence over it.
In the wake of the protests which have spread to other districts, the government transferred Mandsaur Collector Swatantra Kumar Singh as deputy secretary Mantralaya. Singh was replaced with OP Shrivastava, official sources said.
The government also transferred Mandsaur SP, OP Tripathi and posted Manoj Kumar Singh in place of him, the sources added.
Farmers had yesterday resorted to violence and arson in western Madhya Pradesh despite prohibitory measures, posing a major challenge for Chouhan and providing a rallying point for the opposition parties.
In view of the volatile situation, the Centre had rushed 1,100 personnel of RAF to the violence-hit state where the farmers have been agitating for loan waiver and better crop prices.
The Chouhan government had sought to cool the tempers by announcing certain measures, including a loan settlement scheme for those cultivators who had defaulted on repayment of farm loan borrowed by them earlier.
The scheme will cover around six lakh farmers, with accumulated dues of Rs 6000 crore, according to the government.