On a call given by farmers rights group Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSU) for a state-wide stir, hundreds of farmers staged a protest outside deputy commissioner (DC) offices in Amritsar and Tarn Taran, seeking debt waiver.
The protesters started gathering outside Amritsar DC’s office around 11.00 am and staged a dharna at 12.30 pm. The protest lasted for more than three hours. The agitators, holding placards and banners, raised slogans against the state and the central governments. The protesters held the governments responsible for the farmers mess.
While addressing the gathering, Sarwan Singh Pandher, senior vice-president of the KSC, said like in other states, farmers under debt are committing suicide on a daily basis across Punajb. He added that agriculture was no longer profitable for farmers reeling under debt burden.
“The cost of living is increasing day-by-day, but the central government is not increasing the minimum support prize (MSP) to that extent. Due to this, the farmers have to borrow loans from banks. Those farmers, who don’t have enough agrarian land, are not able to clear the loans. Such situations often force them to take such extreme steps. The governments’ policies are responsible behind farmers’ suicides,” he said.
“The state and central governments are funding private companies, but ignoring the plight of those growing foodgrains for the entire country,” said Gurbachan Singh Chabba, district president, adding, “The government must waive of the debts of farmers and also implement recommendations of Swaminathan commission, whiling fixing prizes of crops.”
KSU state chief leads protest in Tarn Taran
KSC state president Satnam Singh Pannu led the dharna, which was staged outside the deputy commissioner’s office, in Tarn Taran.
“The state, as well as the Centre, is not protecting the rights of farmers who are struggling for their survival. Insincerity and insensitivity of the SAD-BJP government have worsened the situation,” said Pannu.
General secretary Swinder Singh Chutala, state press secretary Harpreet Singh and Tajinderpal Singh also addressed the protesters.
The protesters also included women in large number.
In both the districts, a memorandum has been handed over to the DCs.