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As Telangana claims it will revalidate cheques, farmers say, ‘help never came’

Telengana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said the state government had extended financial assistance to 709 families of deceased farmers.

K Chandrasekhar Rao (File)

A day after the Telangana government said that directions have been issued to banks to revalidate some of the cheques distributed to farmers by CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, their families on Friday said that they are yet to receive the cheques.

On May 22 this year, Rao had visited Chandigarh and distributed cheques of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of farmers in Punjab and Haryana who lost their lives during the agitation against the three farm laws. The cheques were to be encashed within the stipulated period of three months.

Telengana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said the state government had extended financial assistance to 709 families of deceased farmers.

The CM had distributed 1,010 cheques.

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However, enquiry revealed that only 814 cheques were encashed and the rest were not. Following which, banks have now been asked to revalidate the cheques, said Kumar in a release on Thursday.

Farmers, however, said that around 500 cheques were to be distributed by the Telangana government but since it was getting late, it was announced that rest of the cheques will be sent to the respective district heads. “It’s been six months but some farmers are yet to get these cheques,”said Satnam Singh Behru, president of Indian farmers association (Punjab), adding that most families of farmers he met in November echoed the sentiment.

He added that so far five families from Tarn Taran have given their names. “Balwinder Kaur, the widow of Partap Singh of Kalsian Kalan village, Tarn Taran, told the union members that though she got the cheque, the bank is not encashing it and is also not telling her the reason. Families of Satnam Singh, Kulwant Singh, Malkit Singh, Fateh Singh and Jagbir Singh from Tarn Taran district had all attended the May 22 event but were told that DCs will send them the cheques,” Behru said, adding that they have informed the director of agriculture and an inquiry should be conducted into this.

Jagmohan Singh Dakaunda, general secretary of BKU (Dakaunda), said that the Punjab government had submitted a list of 619 farmers to its Telangana counterpart. “Over 780 farmers died during the agitation against the three farm laws but the AAP government sent only 619 names. This shows their lack of governance. The agriculture department should at least get all the names verified as many families told us on November 26 that despite their names being on the list, they were yet to get the compensation,” he said.

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When contacted, Punjab agriculture director Gurvinder Singh confirmed that farmers had approached him with the issue. “I had asked them to give me in writing but they never made the complaint official. In the absence of a written complaint, an inquiry cannot be conducted,” he said.

The Telangana government, however, said that a revenue department official has been entrusted with the job to help the beneficiaries. “We stand firmly with the families of these farmers in their moment of grief,” the Telangana government release read.

First published on: 03-12-2022 at 07:12 IST
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