A 70-year-old daily wager, who thrice faced kurki (attachment orders) of her one-room house in Mansa district for failing to repay a Rs 15,000-loan, died Monday after being hit by car while returning to Punjab from Delhi’s Tikri border where she had attended the protests against the central agri laws.
Malkiat Kaur succumbed to her injuries in Haryana’s Fatehabad. She is the first woman labourer to have died during the course of farmers’ agitation after being part of the Delhi protests. Earlier, two women protesters had died, but both were from farmer families.
Malkiat Kaur, who had gone to the Tikri border on December 26 along with 1,700 others, including 700 women. While returning, at 7.30 pm on December 27 (Sunday), the convoy of protesters she was part of had stopped at Fatehabad for langar. Kaur was hit by a car while crossing the road and rushed to a nearby hospital, where she died in the early hours on Monday.
“Perhaps she sustained some internal head injury due to which she fell unconscious and later died,” said Bhagwant Singh Samao, president of Mazdoor Mukti Morcha said.
Malkiat Kaur was a leader of the Morcha, and stayed in Mansa’s Bharat Nagar. She was a widow and survived on her old age pension, while her son, Bhola Singh (50), lived separately in Mansa.
In Delhi, she had gone to Tikri border to be part of Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s protest.
She had faced kurki thrice for her house when she failed to return Rs 15,000 loan taken from a landlord farmer of village Khokhar Kalan of Mansa district.
Her daughter, Rani, said, “She took a loan due to our poor financial condition about 6-7 years back. But the landlord brought kurki orders from court in 2016, and at that time we were told that the outstanding loan was of more than Rs 60,000. However, we could not repay the loan. My mother joined Mazdoor Mukti Morcha at that time and because of dharna by morcha members, the kurki was stopped. ”
Samao said,”Malkiat Kaur and her husband were daily wagers and members of Congress Sewal Dal. Four years ago she became member of our Morcha when we saved her from kurki. Since then, she was associated with us and had become an active leader over the years….Last kurki order came one year ago. We never approached any court but used to protest against the orders.”
According to Samao, “Her body was brought at Mansa Monday evening, but cremation will be done on Tuesday if our demands will be met…we want Rs 10 lakh compensation for the family, job to a family member and loan waiver so that no one faces kurki orders yet again.”
DC Mansa Mohinderpal said,”We have received the application and have forwarded it to CM’s office. We will revert to them as and when reply from CM office comes.”
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