Farmers, labourers begin 5-day protest : The Tribune India

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Farmers, labourers begin 5-day protest

BATHINDA: Farmer and labour unions today began a five-day protest near the District Complex and resident of Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, whereas in Mansa, farmers staged a protest near the District Complex, Mansa.



Tribune News Service

Bathinda, August 24

Farmer and labour unions today began a five-day protest near the District Complex and resident of Deputy Commissioner, Bathinda, whereas in Mansa, farmers staged a protest near the District Complex, Mansa.

In Bathinda, the farmers did not block the road while staging the protest.

In protest against the state government held across the state, farmers are demanding compensation for families of farmers and farm labourers who have ended their lives following debt burden. Besides, farmers are demanding conducting of a survey of suicides again and compensation for farmers who faced damage to their cotton crop by whitefly attack in this season.

The implementation of the circular issued by the state government last year to probe into the suicides committed by farmers and implementation of the Swaminathan report are some other demands.

Farmer union BKU (Ekta-Ugraha) had earlier announced to stage a five-day protest in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner in every district and for this, farmers had also done preparations for the dharna by collecting ration from various farmers.

“The state government had failed to provide relief to families of farmers who have ended their lives following debt burden. Though the government had disbursed the compensation amount to victim families who were reported to be the victims of suicide in the survey conducted by three state-run universities but we are demanding a re-survey and inclusion of farm labourers whom the state government had excluded from the suicide survey report,” said BKU (Ekta-Ugraha) Bathinda president Shingara Singh Mann.

Earlier on behalf of the state government, three state universities, including Punjab Agricultural University, Punjabi University and Guru Nanak Dev University, conducted a door-to-door survey in the state to collect data from 2000 to 2010 and recorded 6,926 cases of suicide in the state. Of these, 3,955 cases were of farmers and agricultural workers. The survey conducted by the universities had recorded the maximum number of cases in Sangrur (1,132), followed by Mansa (1,013) and Bathinda (827).

Mann said: “We are also demanding action against the accused who attacked school principal Daljit Singh Bhagta. But our prime demands are only about the farmers’ rights.”

The circular that was issued in October last year should be implemented as soon as possible. A committee of three members - Deputy Commissioner, Chief Agriculture Officer and Senior Superintendent of Police - were supposed to submit the report every week and every month of their respective districts on farmer suicides as per the circular,” Mann added.

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