Braving scorching sun, upset farmers protest, say no to closed-door meeting

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bathinda
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2016 14:57 IST
Members of farmer unions raise slogans during their protest in Bathinda on Friday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

Despite sun beating down, the farmers are continuing their protest and on Friday it entered 11th day. Though the administrative officials communicated to the farmers under the banner to Bharatiya Kisan Union (ugarahan) about a close door meeting, but the union members were adamant for the talks at protest site.

The farmers have been mainly demanding from government to waive farmers’ loans.District leader of the union, Shingara Singh Mann said the government’s failure to waive off debt was not only resulting in more farmer suicides, but has also given way to drug addiction among the villagers.

“The well educated unemployed youths are roaming free in villages due to poor policies of government. Despite spending lakhs on their education, the youths are getting addicted to drugs,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the union appealed farmers to fight for their rights instead of committing suicides.‘‘Even recently passed Punjab settlement of agricultural indebtedness bill is not going to provide any relief to farmers from the increasing debt,’’ said Union leader Jhanda Singh.

Among other demands, the union wants government to stop auctioning properties of debt-ridden farmers, provide Rs 3 lakh compensation to family and a government job to one of the kin of the farmer, who have committed suicide, supply tube well connections to those having less than 2.5 acres of farmland and withdraw Prevention of Damage to Public and Private Property Act.

They also want authorities to do a ‘suicide survey’ of farmers who committed suicide in post-2010 years.

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