Cotton farmers intensify protest in Bathinda

Give some time to govt: Agri Minister

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 26

Hardening their stand on the second day of the protest, farmers today sealed the gates of the District Administrative Complex (DAC) here and did not allow anyone, including employees, to enter the complex.

Protesters are demanding compensation for cotton damaged by pink bollworm attack and heavy rains. On Monday night, a large number of the farmers slept in open on the mattresses laid down on the roads outside the DAC.

Farmers block the entrance to the District Administrative Complex at Bathinda. Photo: Pawan Sharma

BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) leaders Jhanda Singh Jethuke and Shingara Singh Mann said Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi was still lying about the compensation for damaged cotton to the aggrieved farmers by putting up big banners on cities and buses.

The protesters are demanding a compensation of Rs 60,000 per acre for farmers whose cotton and paddy crops have been damaged. They are also seeking Rs 30,000 per family to the farm labourers. They also said strict punishment should be given to the companies responsible for the sale of spurious seeds and medicines. Agriculture Minister Randeep Singh Nabha said, “Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has already instructed the DCs concerned to give the report of special girdawari by October 29. The girdawari has been marked and compensation will be given accordingly. The farmers should give some time to the government to assess the losses.”

He said, “the government is pro-farmer and it stood by farmers for repealing the three black laws brought in by the Modi government. Our government has already given jobs and compensation to the families of 157 farmers who died during the farmers’ agitation against the farm laws. My department has already started working on a technology for pink bollworm so that in future this worms affect was reduced and the yield increased.”

Release relief

The government must release compensation to the tune of Rs50,000 per acre to cotton farmers and Rs15,000 per acre to farm labourers. Sukhbir Singh Badal, SAD

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