As many as nine farmers who were part of dharnas against Centre’s agri laws in Punjab have died since September 18. Out of these, bodies of three haven’t been cremated till now. While one among these nine took his own life, the others died due to health complications. Farmers, however, term all nine as martyrs in their fight against Centre.
Preetam Singh (65)
On September 18, Preetam Singh (65), a farmer from Akkanwali of village Mansa consumed sulphas tablets at a dharna site outside former CM Parkash Singh Badal’s house. He was rushed to hospital but could not survive. He had died a day after ordinances were passed in Lok Sabha, and while a pakka morcha was going on outside Badals’ house since September 15. His body was cremated after government gave compensation of Rs 3 lakh, a job letter to a family member and promised waiver of loan.
Mukhtiar Singh (62)
A few days later on September 22, a bus carrying over 40 farmers from Badal village to Kishangarh village in Mansa district had met with an accident at Kot Bhara village in Bathinda. Mukhtair Singh (62) of Kishagarh had died due to the accident, while 17 others had been injured. This bus was ferrying farmers after the pakka morcha at Badal village had ended. Mukhtiar Singh’s body was cremated after 3 days of protest.
Wazir Singh (70)
Another farmer, Wazir Singh (70), who was also injured in the same accident succumbed to his injuries October 3 at a Bathinda hospital. He was also from Kishangarh, and his family cremated his body without waiting for any response from the government over demands of farm unions.
Jaspal Singh (60)
A farmer from from Mehal Kalan in Barnala, Jaspal Singh (60), district was speaking from dais on October 5, when he fell on the stage. He was taken to hospital where he died. He was a diabetic and his sugar level had gone up. He was 60-years old. His body has been cremated, said Jagmohan Singh, general secretary of BKU (Dakaunda). Jaspal was a state committee member of Democratic Kisan Sabha (DKS)
Megh Das Nagri (62)
On October 9, Kavishar Megh Raj Nagri of village Nagri in Sangrur suffered a cardiac arrest during a protest on the main road of Ludhiana-Dhuri state highway when he suffered an attack. His body is still in the mortuary of Civil Hospital, Sangrur and Dhuri- Ludhiana highway has been jammed since October 9. He was member of BKU (Ugrahan).
Tej Kaur (80)
On the same day, Tej Kaur (80) had lost her balance on railway tracks of Budhlada railway station and she had fell on tracks. She suffered head injury and died on the spot. She was from BKU(Ugrahan). Her body is still in Budhlada Civil Hospital mortuary
Labh Singh (65)
Labh Singh(65) of Bhullerheri of Sangrur suffered heart attack at Sangrur railway station on October 15 where he was on pakka dharna since October 1. BKU (Dakaunda) had organised this dharna. In between he had visited his house for 2-3 times for night stay. He died on October 15, early morning. However, his son, Nazam Singh, has cremated his body.
Harbans Singh (62)
Harbans Singh (62), a district level leader of BKU (Sidhupur ) was participating in protest against central government since October 17. Effigy of PM Narendra Modi was being burnt in Patiala when had a cardiac arrest and was declared dead when he was taken to hospital. However, his body has been cremated by his family.
Jagraj Singh (57)
Another farmer who died on October 17, Jagraj Singh (57) fell sick at Mansa railway station. He was member of BKU (Kadian). He was taken to Mansa civil hospital where he died during treatment. He too had heart attack. His body is yet to be cremated, but the family has agreed to cremate it on Tuesday after accepting compensation of Rs 3 lakh and a job for the deceased farmer’s son in revenue department on contract basis.
What farmers want
Farmers want Rs 10 lakh compensation, job for a family member and loan waiver in the other two cases before agreeing for cremation.
What authorities say
Mansa DC Mohinder Pal said, “We are meeting unions on daily basis. We have offered them Rs 3 lakh. In case of Tej Kaur, there is no land in her name and her three sons are well-off. Even same compensation can be given to Jugraj ‘s family as well.” Sangrur DC Ramvir said, “Union is not allowing us to talk to the family. We are talking to union leaders everyday and are trying to sort out matter. Rs 3 lakh compensation can be given to the family.”