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Protesting against farm Bills, debt-hit farmer dies by suicide at Badal village

Preetam Singh, a resident of Mansa’s Akanwali village, was rushed to the hospital after he vomited at the dharna site early in the morning. He died at 8 pm at a Bathinda hospital.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | September 19, 2020 6:17:27 am
Good Laws In Bad TimesFor starters, why not ask the Niti Aayog to write an implementation plan for the farm bills after giving a hearing to various parties. (File photo)

A day after Lok Sabha cleared the contentious farm Bills, a 65-year-old farmer died by suicide after consuming sulphas tablets —used as a rodenticide—at an ongoing protest at Muktsar Sahib’s Badal village.

The six-day protest has been organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) near the residence of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Preetam Singh, a resident of Mansa’s Akanwali village, was rushed to the hospital after he vomited at the dharna site early in the morning. He died at 8 pm at a Bathinda hospital.

“He will be cremated after the administration releases compensation, agrees to a job for one family member and waives the family’s farm debt,” said Shingara Singh Maan, chief of BKU(Ugrahan)’s Bathinda unit.

The farmer’s family is entitled to a compensation of Rs 3 lakh as per government policy. The government has also said that it will clear his hospital bills.

The deceased farmer was the youngest among three brothers who jointly own 6.5 acres at Akanwali village. In his share of land, Preetam would harvest cotton and wheat.

“Farmland in Akanwali is sandy and faces water-logging. The land is jointly in the family’s name and they have around Rs 15 lakh debt from cooperative society, commission agents and banks,” said Joginder Pardhan, block chief of BKU (Ugrahan).

Pretam’s nephew, Binder Singh, said: “He was upset over the farm Bills and would often discuss them. We had no idea he bought Sulphas tablets while leaving for the protest.”

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