Even as the Punjab government has already announced Rs 8,000 compensation for the loss of cotton crop sown over one acre land, disgruntled farmers here continued their protest for the 12th consecutive day, demanding that the amount should be Rs 40, 000.
The farmers held protests in Mansa, Barnala and Sangrur on Monday on the issue and threatened to intensify their stir in the coming days.
The Bathinda district administration has received Rs 114 crore to be disbursed as compensation to farmers. Cotton crop on 1.45 lakh acres of land has suffered total damage due to whitefly attack in three subdivisions of the district while girdawari for one subdivision is yet to be finalised. The area is about 40% of the total land under cotton cultivation in the district.
Cotton crop on 1.53 lakh acres in Mansa district has suffered total loss due to the pest attack.
Bathinda deputy commissioner Basant Garg said Rs 8,000 compensation for one acre would be disbursed among farmers in three subdivisions.
On the other hand, the protesting farmers have straightaway rejected the compensation amount, terming it meager. The farmers said they would continue the protest in support of their demand for Rs 40,000 compensation for one acre.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) leader Shingara Singh Mann said even the ministers in the state government have acknowledged heavy losses to cotton crop.
Farmer cremated amid tight security
Meanwhile, the cremation of farmer Kuldeep Singh, who had committed suicide during a protest last week by consuming poison, was done at Chughe Kalan village on Monday morning in the presence of heavy police force.
The administration brought the victim’s body from the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, on Sunday night and post-mortem was conducted at the civil hospital early in the morning. The administration has given Rs 5 lakh compensation to the affected family and the process for providing job to one of his family members is underway.
Angry farmer union leaders blamed the Punjab government for resorting to pressurise the family to go for cremation.
BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) leader Sukhdev Singh Khokri Kalan alleged that the administration resorted to pressure tactics to convince the family to cremate the deceased and brought the body in the night.
Farmer leaders alleged that the demand of cancelling the debt of the family has not been met with and the administration has only promised to initiate process for providing job to one family member.
Heavy police force was deployed in the village to check law and order problem arising out of likely.
However, SDM Bathinda, Anmol Singh Dhariwal denied of any pressure and said cremation was done with the consent of family and family has been provided compensation of Rs five lakhs and process for providing job to one family member has been initiated. Also, the protesting farmers paid tributes to martyr Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary in the protest.