Bhopal: A bandh called by Congress today over its demand that family members of 26 persons killed in a fire at a cracker factory be paid a compensation of Rs 1 crore evoked near-total response in Balaghat town. There were no untoward incidents, said the additional director general of police (Balaghat range) G Janardhan. Most of the shops and offices in Balaghat town and Waraseoni tehsil remained closed, reports said. The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh had announced a whopping Rs 1 crore compensation for the families of five protesters who were killed in police firing in Mandsaur district during farmers’ agitation on June 6.

The amount of compensation is unprecedented in the state’s history. Congress has now sought the same compensation for the families of 26 people — including 19 women — who were killed in a fire at a cracker factory in Balaghat town on June 7. According to Bharat Yadav, collector, Balaghat, a compensation of Rs 6 lakh has been announced for the victims’ family members so far.