After 28 hours of "peace fast", Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called it off this afternoon and assured farmers that their demands will be addressed. 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.
He also said farmers will be given compensation.
Families of five farmers who were killed in the police firing during the last week's protest in Mandsaur, had last night asked him to call off his fast. Early this morning, while sitting next to his wife Sadhna and a potrait of Mahatma Gandhi, he said, "I have always tried everything possible to help the farmers. Their problems are ours. They are our own."
Hundreds of farmers held a protest at Mandsaur on Wednesday demanding better prices for their crops and loan waivers when the cops opened fire on them. Five ryots died on spot and one who was allegedly detained by the police, died later in the hospital. Reports say Home Minister Bhupendra Singh had initially issued a strong denial about police's involvement, but confirmed it later.
After protests became rough across the state post the firing, the Chief Minister began what came to be dubbed a "peace fast".
The Chief Minister had appealed to farmers to discuss their problems with him. "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 the state would buy the produce and give profitable prices to farmers. Media reports say he is also believed to be mulling a waiver of farm loans, which could benefit more than six lakh farmers at a cost of around 2,000 crore to the taxpayer.