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60-yr-old farmer on strike dies of heart attack at protest site

After his death, BKU (Rajewal) leaders said that they will not cremate his body till a minister from AAP government holds talks with them.

Fazilka Deputy Commissioner Himanshu Aggarwal said that compensation to the farmer's family will be provided as per law. (Express photo)

A 60-year farmer died of alleged cardiac arrest Sunday, at the indefinite protest (pucca morcha) site in Abohar-Sri Ganganagar road at Gumjal village, near Punjab-Rajasthan border for the past 47 days.

The farmer, identified as Sukhwinder Singh (60) of Dalmir Khera village of Fazilka, was participating in the protest since many days. He was an activist of BKU (Rajewal) which is on protest demanding adequate compensation for damaged cotton crop and availability of canal water. After his death, BKU (Rajewal) leaders said that they will not cremate his body till a minister from AAP government holds talks with them. They have also demanded Rs 1 crore compensation, a government job and debt waiver for the deceased farmer.

Sukhmander Singh Sukh, district president of Fazilka, BKU (Rajewal), said, “Our one team member has been martyred. He was sitting on protest since many days to fight for our basic rights. Four other farmers are sitting on indefinite hunger strike and one of them is unwell. We are only demanding adequate compensation for our damaged cotton crops and adequate canal water for irrigation. We will not cremate his body till the government does not announce 1 crore compensation, a government job and debt waiver for our shaheed kisaan. Regarding our other demands, a minister should come and talk to us and get our problems solved. Till then we will not lift protest and the body of deceased farmer will also be kept at the protest site,” he the district president.

Demanding fulfillment of demands, the farmers from Fazilka and other cotton-growing areas nearby had started the protest on Abohar-Ganganagar highway on August 16.

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The farmers allege that due to inadequate availability of water for irrigation, they have either failed to sow cotton crop at appropriate in May and those have sown it, had crop failures due to breach in Sirhind Feeder canal. They further said that they have also been given any compensation for the cotton crop which was damaged by whitefly and pink bollworm.

Balkaran Singh, district secretary BKU Rajewal said that “Sukhwinder Singh was among those farmers whose crop was damaged and he was participating in the protests for the last many days. “Today when one of his accompanying relatives tried to awake him, he did not respond and was declared dead. We demand a government jo and compensation of Rs 1 crore to the bereaved family”.

Fazilka Deputy Commissioner Himanshu Aggarwal said that compensation to the farmer’s family will be provided as per law.

First published on: 03-10-2022 at 08:25:37 am
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