While Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar Friday said that the Centre has no record of farmers’ deaths during the ongoing protest against the three farm laws, the Punjab government has verified 220 such deaths of farmers and farm labourers from the state and also given out Rs 10.86 crore compensation to kin of all these deceased.
Punjab government data accessed by The Indian Express showed that till July 20, details of 220 farmers/farm labourers have been verified. Out of these 220, 203 (92%) farmers/farm labourers deceased were from Malwa region of the state, while 11 (5%) deaths were from Majha and six (2.7%) from Doaba.
The SKM has claimed that 400 farmers have died during the protest. Punjab government sources revealed that verification of more deaths is underway.
According to the state government data, maximum number of deaths of farmers/farm labourers were reported from Sangrur district where 43 such deaths occurred in past eight months. Government has sanctioned Rs 5 lakh compensation in each case. Total Rs 2.13 crore has already been given to the families in the district.
The second highest number of such deaths was reported from the Bathinda district where 33 such deaths took place and the government had sanctioned total Rs 1.65 crore to the next of kin of these deceased farmers.
Further, 27 cases have been verified in Moga, 25 in Patiala, 17 in Barnala, 15 in Mansa, 14 in Mukatsar Sahib, 13 in Ludhiana.
Fazilka, Ferozepur and Gurdaspur reported seven, six and five deaths, respectively, while Amritsar and Nawanshahr have reported four deaths each. Mohali and Tarn Taran reported three and two deaths, respectively, Jalandhar and Kapurthala have recorded one each.
Apart from this, verification of around two dozen more deceased farmers and farm labourers is going on in various districts and almost all of them may be included in this list, revealed sources.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had recently said that their government is also providing jobs on the compassionate ground to the one family member of such deceased and the process for the same has already begun.
The farmers of every age group from 18 years of 85 years have died during the protest and the number was highest between 40 to 60 years age bracket.
Farm unions are also collecting the details of such deaths at their level and according to them till date over 500 farmer/farm labourers have died during the protest at Delhi out of which around 85 per cent are from Punjab only. This figure also included deaths that took place in Punjab during the local protests against three farm laws.
According to the SKM, farmers of several states have died in this protest, but the unions of Punjab are collecting data with a missionary zeal.