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Monday, November 29, 2021

A bittersweet decision for families of farmers who died: ‘Victory for farmers but my kids won’t get father back’

At Mahima Chakk village in Gurdaspur district, Sukhjinder Singh said that the repeal was a victory for farmers and those who died in this protest. He lost his father Satnam Singh, 75, during the protest.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba , Raakhi Jagga | Jalandhar, Ludhiana |
November 20, 2021 4:30:27 am
Manpreet Singh, who died a day after returning from the Kundli border.

A welcome decision, but one that came too late and at the cost of many lives — this was how the families of the farmers who lost their lives during the agitation responded to the repeal of the three laws.

“During this protest, I lost my husband. That was the biggest tragedy of our life. His sacrifice should not have gone to waste. Today it is a great moment for the farming community but my kids — three-year-old son and six-year-old daughter — will never get their father back,” said Sandeep Kaur, 33, from Bhawanigarh in Punjab’s Sangrur district.

Her husband Manpreet Singh, 42, was at the Kundli border from November 26 to December 19. He fell ill and suffered a heart attack a day after returning from the border.

“Why did the Central government create such a situation and delay the rollback?” she asked.

Sandeep has no source of income and lives with her old mother. “The winter season has started. This decision will save the lives of many and prevent the tragedy which befell us,” she said.

Sandeep Kaur is yet to get the compensation promised by the Punjab government.

At Mahima Chakk village in Gurdaspur district, Sukhjinder Singh said that the repeal was a victory for farmers and those who died in this protest. He lost his father Satnam Singh, 75, during the protest.

Gurdeep Singh is the son of Sukhdev Singh, 64, who died in an accident on December 14 last year while returning from the Singhu border. Sukhdev was a small farmer with five acres of land at Dandiana village in Fatehgarh Sahib district.

“No doubt, it is a victory of the farmers’ determination against the Centre’s stuburness on three contentious farm laws,” Gurdeep said. “But why did the Centre take so long to repeal these laws? Now can it bring our near and dear ones back who lost their lives in this protest?”

“My father was an active participant in this protest. His soul will rest in peace today,” he said. Hardeep Singh’s father Bhupinder Singh, 52, died on January 26 at Kundli border. “We welcome this move by the government but it is at the cost of the lives of hundreds of farmers,” Hardeep said.

It was not just Hardeep’s family that suffered a tragedy on Republic Day.

Paramjeet Kaur’s 75-year-old father, Zorawar Singh, went missing that day from the Singhu border. Paramjeet Kaur, a single parent of a five-year-old boy, has received no news of his whereabouts. Zorawar, a marginal farmer, was from Ekolaha village in Ludhiana district.

She said: “I have been to Singhu border a number of times to find my father, had pasted posters as well on walls near Singhu and Tikri borders but to no avail. Only I can feel what loss I bore out of this agitation against farm laws.”

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