Sidhu asked the Punjab government to come with a policy to redress the issues of farmers and demanded ₹50 lakh compensation for the families of the deceased
Former president of Punjab Congress Navjot Sidhu on Friday demanded Rs. 50 lakh compensation and a government job for the families of the debt-ridden farmers who ended their life due to crop losses and asked the Punjab government to come up with a policy to redress the issues of the farming community.
Sidhu was visiting the families of farmers who died by suicide allegedly due to financial crisis driven by crop losses in villages in Bathinda district.
After paying condolences to a family at Maiserkhana village, whose 39-year-old member died after jumping before a train on April 19, Sidhu claimed that seven farmers took the extreme step in Bathinda district in the last few days.
“First the cotton crop was damaged (due to pink bollworm attack) and then wheat production was hit due to climatic conditions. Aam Aadmi Party (national convener) Arvind Kejriwal should immediately release ₹50 lakh compensation and a government job to family members of the deceased,” said Sidhu.
The Congress leader, who also visited Mansa Khurd village to condole the death of another farmer, said the Punjab government should frame a policy to redress the problems of the farming community.
However, Bathinda deputy commissioner (DC) Showkat Ahmed Parry said only three farmers died by suicide in the past few days and it was premature to connect deaths with crop failures.
Parry said several studies have confirmed a widespread significant drop in wheat yield but deaths cannot be attributed to low production of the crops without credible evidence.
“In one case of suicide by a resident of Bajak village early this week, the farmer died after he drank insecticide as he was in an inebriated condition. During his treatment, the deceased had recorded his statement to the police stating he was celebrating Baisakhi and he accidentally consumed the farm chemical. We are still investigating two other cases,” Parry said.