Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addresses reporters in Bhopal on Friday, June 9, 2017.Twitter/CMO Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan began his indefinite fast for restoration of peace on Saturday, amid the ongoing farmers' agitation in the state, where the group has called for immediate "action" from the government. 

The farmers' protests began last week in Mandsaur over demand for better prices for their produce and also debt relief. At least five farmers were killed in the Mandsaur district on Tuesday following clashes with the police. A curfew was imposed in the region, which was later relaxed for 12 hours from 8 am to 8 pm.

The violent protests, which saw the agitators blocking roads and vandalising public property, has now reached Bhopal. At least 156 people have been arrested and nearly 40 cases have been registered in association with the violence during the farmers' agitation in the state.

Chouhan will be available at Dussehra Maidan in Bhopal from 11 am for farmers to come and discuss their issues with him. The state CM, however, said that any unruly elements during the discussion will be dealt with strictly. 

Mandsaur, farmers' protest, Mandsaur agitation, Madhya Pradesh protest
Vehicles set on fire by agitating farmers against killing of farmers of Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur; in Indore on June 7, 2017.IANS

The central government, meanwhile, has asked the states adjoining Madhya Pradesh to keep a strict watch against the spread of farmers' protest in their region. Officials in Delhi said that the central government is in touch with states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, and is sensitising the authorities against any such possible protests by farmers in their region.  

Chouhan, in a press conference on Friday evening, said that people's safety was his 'Rajdharma' and that he was not flint-hearted. The chief minister said that the protest has gone  "anarchic" and appealed to the farmers to come and negotiate with the government.

The CM said that the state government has begun buying onion for Rs 8 per kg from the farmers, while moong and urad pulses will also be bought at the Minimum Support Price (MSP).