Protesting against the state government’s policy of dealing with farmer suicides and mounting debt, a member of Punjab Kisan Union (PKU) died due to cardiac arrest here on Sunday afternoon.
Bhura Singh Mann (63) has been attending the protest organised by PKU for the last 134 days. “He was an active member of our union and had continuously attended our protest meetings. While the meeting was going on he suddenly felt uneasy. He was declared brought dead by the doctors,” said PKU president, Ruldu Singh.
Bhura Singh owned around 3 acres of land and had taken a loan of Rs 3 lakh from a private bank. The members of the union refused to perform his cremation demanding a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for his family, a government job for one of the family members and waiver of his private loan.
Punjab Kisan Union, with other worker unions has been protesting in Mansa for the last 4 months demanding plot for landless labourers, loan waiver for debt-ridden farmers, a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and a government job for the family of suicide victims. “Nobody from the district administration has ever invited us to a discussion. This is how the government responds to our demands,” said Ruldu Singh.
The administration swung into action and beefed up the security as the news of the farmer’s death spread and members of different farmers union started gathering near the protest site. “We have spoken to the family members and have decided to give them a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and assured them that as per the qualifications a suitable job will be given to the family member of the victim. The union has been assured of their meeting with chief minister in near future,” said sub divisional magistrate Rakesh Kumar.
The family has decided to donate his body to a hospital for organ donation. “It was his wish that his body be donated to a hospital,” said CPI (ML) leader Sukhdarshan Singh Natt.