Farmers led by Bharti Kisan Union (Sidhupur) ended their 33-day long dharna outside the Jaitu SDM’s office after Punjab CM Amarinder Singh’s adviser, Capt Sandeep Sandhu, held a meeting with them on Monday. The dharna, which started on November 7, had intensified after the alleged suicide of farmer Jagseer Singh (52) at the dharna site on Saturday. The farmers, who were protesting to seeking quashing of FIRs against farmers with stubble burning charges, had added Rs 20 lakh compensation for the dead farmers’ kin and job to one family member to the list of their demands.
On Monday, the government assured adequate compensation as per law to Jagseer’s family and sending the case of job to the next of kin to the CM. It also promised that a panel will look into stubble burning cases against farmers.
After the dharna was lifted Monday evening, BKU (Sidhpur) leaders said that protesting farmers would disperse on Tuesday morning, adding that after a postmortem, Jagseer’s body will be cremated at his native village on Tuesday. Farmers had been sitting at the sit-in site with Jagseer’s body for the past three days.
Capt Sandeep Sandhu told The Indian Express, “Farmers had been sitting on dharna demanding withdrawal of FIRs and also to get red entries in revenue records removed. This action had been taken against farmers for stubble burning. Stubble burning is an issue but at the same time punishing farmers is also not a solution. So we have decided to constitute a committee to be chaired by a retired judge, two more members and one member from farmers’ body. This committee will look into the case of red entries and the FIRs.”
A report in this regard would be submitted within 35 days, Sandhu further said after the marathon meeting with the farmers’ organisation leaders.
He added that after “red entries have been marked in revenue records of over 23,000 farmers, they are not getting cooperative loans and hence committee will look into their issue, but at the same time we have to abide by the SC directions as well”.
Besides, the family of Jagseer Singh, who had committed suicide, was assured of “suitably adjusting” his son in the “government setup”.
Talking about Jagseer’s suicide, Sandhu said: “We will provide compensation to the farmer as per the policy of government and case of providing job to a family member will be sent to CM and suitable job will be given to a family member as per qualification.”
While the union had been seeking Rs 20 lakh compensation for the farmer’s family, but government’s policy gives Rs 3 lakh only.
Sukhmander Singh, president of Faridkot unit of BKU (Sidhupur), said,”We have called off dharna on assurances made by CM’s media advisor. Our farmers have called off dharna but they will go to their houses Tuesday morning as they cannot travel overnight, they have come from far off places. Postmortem of body will be done Tuesday morning and later Jagseer’s body will be taken back home for cremation. We are hopeful that farmers will get relief in case of red entries and FIRs over stubble burning issue.”
With PTI inputs