SANGRUR: Days after Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi announced that Punjab government will build memorial for farmers who lost their lives during the year-long farmers’ protest, minister Vijay Inder Singla inaugurated the first memorial of farmers here in Sangrur and urged the central government to accept the rest of farmers’ demands so that they can come back to their native places.
Singla, who is PWD Minister in the Punjab government, inaugurated the Kisan Memorial ‘Yadgar-e-Shaheedaan’, which has the names of all the farmers of Sangrur, who died during a year-long protest in the national capital against three ‘black’ agriculture laws.
Speaking to The New Indian, Singla said, “I am grateful to God for giving me this opportunity to inaugurate the first memorial of farmers. Sangrur has always been at the forefront of the farmers’ fight for the repealing of the three contentious farm laws. The initial list comprises farmers from Sangrur who lost their lives in the course of protest.”
Currently, the names of 58 farmers find a place on the memorial. “Another 27 names are being verified and would be added to the memorial later,” he informed.
Targeting the BJP government at the Centre, the Congress leader said, “They (BJP) claim that they are repealing the farm laws with a very big heart. It is unfortunate that they showed this heart after 700 farmers died during the protest. It’s a sad thing to hear from an irresponsible government.”
When asked about former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tabling a list of 403 farmers in the Parliament and another list of 70 farmers from Haryana in response to the government claim that it did not have the list of farmers who died during the protests, he said, “It is a responsibility which you have to take up. If you choose to become irresponsible, then there are various ways to get out of a situation.”
The Punjab government, he shared, had announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and government jobs to the families of those who lost their lives, right in the beginning itself.
“In Sangrur itself, we have given jobs to 26 families and compensation to 58 families. Twenty seven more families will be compensated once the data is verified,” he shared.
The minister also felicitated the families of the farmers who died in year-long protest at the inauguration ceremony.
The Parliament on November 29, the first day of Winter Session, passed the Bill to repeal the three farm laws, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to withdraw the three laws.
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh have been camping at several borders of Delhi demanding repealing of the three farm laws and ensuring MSP of their produce since November 26 last year.