Farmers from 12 districts of the state will hold a five-day protest, starting from Tuesday, against the state government’s failure to check farmer suicides.
Under the banner of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugarahan), the farmers will hold protests outside the deputy commissioner offices in Bathinda, Moga, Mansa, Ferozepur, Fazilka, Muktsar, Sangrur and Barnala. The farmers will also gherao offices of sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) in Ludhiana, Patiala, Gurdaspur and Amritsar.
The authorities have stepped up security to stop the farmers from holding sit-ins outside the DC offices to avoid inconvenience to the people.
Union’s state general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri said the government was not paying heed to the genuine demands of the farmers, which is forcing them to commit suicide. “The government has failed to share authentic report on farmer suicides with the Union government and has also overlooked our recommendations to bring farmers out of crisis,” he said.
The union is wants the government to waive farmer loans, stop auctioning properties of debt-ridden farmers, `5-lakh compensation to families of farmers who committed suicide, post-2010 suicide survey and tubewell connections to those having less than 2.5 acres of farmland.
The union also sought an apology from vice-chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board Ravinder Cheema for his remarks that farmers were committing suicides to get compensation. Kokri said it was due to the insensitive approach of the state government that a mother-son duo committed suicide at Joghpur village in Barnala in April.
“This has to be stopped as commission agents are working in an autocratic manner at the behest of Punjab Police and harassing farmers even after they repay loans,” Kokri added.