Punjabi Cultural Council urges Centre to extend ex-gratia benefits to all 162 martyr farmers in fight against draconian agri laws
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Chandigarh, January 24
Urging the central government to consider all martyred 162 farmers for ex-gratia benefits, the Punjab Cultural Council (PCC) has written to the union agricultural minister to repeal black farmer laws forthwith thereby accord due honour to the ‘Anndatas’ who have given their prime for ensuring food security for the nation. Besides, the PCC has also asked the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to give personal intervention thereby helping the farmers at Delhi borders with proactive support.
In the letter, PCC Chairman Harjeet Singh Grewal and vice chairman Tejinderpal Singh Nalwa senior advocate supreme court have said tragically Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have already lost 149 precious lives during protests at the Delhi borders since November 25 against centre’s shameful arrogance and callousness attitude. In addition to this, 13 farmers have sacrificed their lives in Punjab during rail roko stir since September 2019. “This is unacceptable as any loss of life is gross injustice to our farmers who are toiling hard for the nation besides providing jobs to the farm labour”, they added.
Underlining Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and West Bengal chief minister’s strong and clear-cut stand against these contentious legislations, PCC has sought personal intervention of union minister Narendera Singh Tomar towards ensuring these affected families with all support as their breadwinners have sacrificed their lives while struggling at Delhi borders in very adverse conditions.
The Council has also submitted a list of all deceased farmers to the union minister to provide active assistance and cooperation to the bereaved families in every way possible in greater spirit of our gratitude towards our Anndatas.
The Council has also hailed the announcement of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh to provide jobs for a member of each family who have lost their members during the stir against central legislations. “Farmers are sitting at Delhi borders not for themselves but for future generations and the common man”, said council leaders.
Giving details of farmers’ sacrifices Grewal informed that the unfortunate tally includes twenty two farmers belonging to Sangrur district, fourteen each from Mansa and Patiala, nine from Barnala, eight each from Bathinda and Ludhiana, seven each from Sri Fatehgarh Sahib and Fazilka, six each from Sri Mukatsar Sahib and Amritsar, five each from Moga, Hoshiarpur, Ferozepur and SBS Nagar, three each from Mohali, Rupnagar, Gurdaspur and Jalandhar besides two farmer residents of Tarntaran district. In addition to this nine farmers have sacrificed their lives from Haryana, three from Uttar Pradesh and one from Madhya Pradesh.
Reprimanding PM Narendra Modi for forcibly imposing three black laws on Indian citizens, Grewal said “BJP led NDA government must realise the implications of their catastrophic attempts to benefit crony capitalists at the cost of farmers who has not only pulled India from being a begging bowl to make it a food surplus nation but has also brought revenues for state and central governments.
The Council in the letter has also cautioned the central government of vicious and unconstitutional designs to dismantle agriculture and farming which every farmer treats as its most cherished possession equal to his mother.
The Council stressed upon that there should not be any encroachment on the state list subjects and leave it entirely upon the states for any reforms in agriculture by repealing all three contentious Agri laws forthwith. Grewal said that the centre must realize the real potential of historic Kisan Andalon and overwhelming support from the vast Indian citizens as well as foreign nations to the democratic voice of farmers.
Among others present on the occasion included joint secretary Kanwar Harbir Singh Dhindsa, Harpreet Singh Sarao, Harjinder Kumar, Jograj Singh and Harvinder Singh.