20 days later, Punjab farmers call off protest near CM Bhagwant Mann’s Sangrur house
The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) on Friday called off its 20-day-long protest near the residence of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in Sangrur district. The farmers had been on dharna since October 9. The decision to end the stir came after BKU’s meeting with Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal at the Circuit House here.
Sources said the farmers, who had carried ration, mattresses, LPG cylinders and other essentials to the protest site, planned a massive “victory congregation” before returning home. Intriguingly, neither the minister nor the BKU was willing to say much on the ‘consensus’ reached by them. While the minister said the details would be announced tomorrow, BKU leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan said the government had already accepted their demands but there was no written assurance. “Now, they have given details on when and how our 12 demands will be met.”
Among the key demands are compensation to farmers for damaged crops and death of cattle due to lumpy skin disease, removal of cap on per acre purchase, exemption from mining Act, greater compensation for land acquisition, closure of a liquor manufacturing unit at Mansoorwal village near Zira, cancellation of cases lodged against farmers for burning crop residue, ‘bonus’ of Rs 200 per quintal for management of stubble without setting it afire and minimum support price for maize and moong. Malwinder Singh Kang, chief spokesperson of AAP in Punjab, tweeted, “Bhagwant Mann has always been receptive and sensitive towards legitimate concerns of farmers. The govt has taken path-breaking decisions for the welfare of farmers to stop perpetual decline in income. We welcome the decision by farmers’ union to call off their strike (sic).”