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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Farmers Protest Deaths: Farmer’s kin, unions protest denial of compensation by Punjab govt

SGPC has paid compensation to 270 families but the Punjab government’s list only had names of 220 farmers.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amritsar |
Updated: August 3, 2021 2:13:57 pm
Farmers protest in January. (File Photo)

Surjit Singh (32), who was protesting against farm bills at the Delhi border, died allegedly due to Covid-19. Months later, the family has been paid compensation by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), while it still awaits relief from the state government.

Punjab CM had announced a job to next of kin along with compensation of Rs 5 lakh in such cases, while SGPC had declared a compensation of Rs one lakh per family.

But while SGPC has paid compensation to 270 families, the Punjab government’s list only had names of 220 farmers. While the state has paid compensation to these 220 families, Surjit’s name was not on the list. On Monday, his family protested outside the office of Tarn Taran DC along with members of farmer unions.

Surjit Singh, who only had one and a half acre land, had died on February 3. He had gone to Singhu in January. Farmer unions claimed that they paid Rs 80,000 to get him treated before his death.

“Surjit Singh had developed Pneumonia at Singhu border. We admitted him to a makeshift hospital at the Singhu border. But his condition didn’t improve. There was no Covid-19 test facility at the Singhu border. At Amritsar also, the private hospital didn’t inform us if he had Covid-19 or not. We were told that he died from Pneumonia,” said Hardeep Singh Rasoolpur, Tehsil President, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha.

Surjit Singh is survived by his wife and his son.

Surjit’s wife said: “We have been paid Rs 1 lakh compensation by SGPC. An NGO has also paid Rs 40,000 and Sanyukat Kisan Morcha granted Rs 20,000 in compensation. But Punjab government is not ready to accept that my husband died during farmers’ protests. We have provided all the evidence related to the death of my husband, However, the district administration is not clearing the file.”

Tarn Taran Deputy Commissioner Kulwant Singh said: “We will look into the matter and decision will be taken on merit.”

Meanwhile, Rasoolpur, alleged: ”Due to the unwarranted interference of the Congress party MLA, no financial assistance has been given to Surjit’s family so far. Today, under the leadership of the Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Punjab, hundreds of women farmers gathered in large numbers in Gandhi Park to protest against the halqa MLA and the SDM.”

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