Tribune News Service
Sangrur, December 6
Farm organisations have been releasing long lists of indebted farmers who have committed suicides but the Sangrur Agriculture Department authorities say they have only 28 cases pending for compensation to the families of the deceased.
As per sources, in December 2018, around 70 cases of deceased farmers from across the district were pending with the department authorities. But this year, a total of 40 cases were pending with the department. During a meeting on November 25, Sangrur Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ghanshyam Thori along with other members of the committee discussed 15 cases of which four cases were passed, eight were rejected while three were deferred for the next meeting. Presently, 28 cases are pending with the department.
“We have a record of all farmers who have committed suicides across the district due to mounting debt. Suicides have increased after the failure of Punjab Congress government in giving a complete debt waiver. Under pressure, agriculture and other department officials are deliberately rejecting the cases for compensation,” alleged BKU Ugrahan leader Sukhpal Manak, who is heading the state-level committee of the organisation to compile the record of farmer suicides across the state.
The DC is the chairman of the committee formed to clear cases of suicides for compensation. As per norms, if anyone wants to apply for compensation, a post-mortem report, FIR copy, death certificate, Aadhaar card and proof of debt are mandatory for compensation.
But department officials said the families of illiterate farmers were still unaware about mandatory documents and their cases were being rejected due to that. There are many families who have applied even five years after the death as they were confused about the process.
The family of Jagmail Singh from Punwal village, who committed suicide in April 2014, has applied for compensation in 2019. In another case, the family of Jiwan Singh from Longowal, who committed suicide in September 2016, has applied in 2019.
“We have not rejected any case deliberately. There are set norms of the government and all families should apply with mandatory documents. We keep conducting meetings of the committee to clear the cases,” said Chief Agriculture Officer, Sangrur, Jaswinderpal Singh Grewal.
Cases being cleared
We have not rejected any case deliberately. There are set norms of the government and all families should apply with mandatory documents. We keep conducting meetings of the compensation committee to clear the cases. Jaswinderpal Singh Grewal, Chief agriculture officer, Sangrur
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