Protesting against bills, farmer dies by suicide in Punjab

Chandigarh: A 70-year-old farmer has died after consuming a poisonous substance on Friday during a protest against the new farm Bills in Muktsar district of Punjab, police said on Saturday.

Pritam Singh, a resident of Akkanwali village of Mansa district had been participating in the protest since September 15 which is being organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) at Badal village, the native of former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal

Police claimed that the farmers was under debt.

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BKU (Ekta Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh demanded the administration give a compensation to the family of the deceased.

The Centre introduced the Farmers’ Produce Trade And Commerce (Promotion And Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill in Parliament on Monday to replace ordinances promulgated earlier.

According to the Centre, “these bills seek to provide a barrier-free trade for farmers’ produce outside the notified farm mandis (wholesale markets) and empower farmers to enter into farming agreements with private players prior to production for the sale of their produce.”

Kejriwal appeals to unite against bills

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed to all non-BJP parties on Friday to unite in the Rajya Sabha and oppose three bills that he claimed would leave farmers in the hands of big companies for exploitation.

In a tweet in Hindi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief asked the non-BJP parties to ensure that all of their members are present in the House and that they do not stage a walkout “drama”.

“All three bills of the Centre will leave farmers in the hands of big companies for exploitation. I request all the non-BJP parties to unite in the Rajya Sabha and oppose these bills, make sure all your MPs are present and do not stage a walkout drama. Farmers all over the country are watching you,” he said.

AAP Lok Sabha MP Bhagwant Mann also asked every Rajya Sabha MP to vote against this bill.

“The Aam Aadmi Party has opposed this bill in Lok Sabha and we will oppose these bills in Rajya Sabha too. I want to request all the Rajya Sabha MPs to vote against these bills. Under every MP there are nine MLA constituencies, so I would request every Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab and also other states to think about the ground reality before voting for these bills,” he said in a statement.

“The Bharatiya Janata Party is continuously saying that these are revolutionary bills. But it is a blatant lie because these bills are anti-farmer and also these bills are just to promote the industrialists by killing the farmers,” he added.

He noted that the bills are against farmers and will only benefit industrialists.

“At the end of the day, the farmers will become beggars. The farmers are very strong and no bill or atrocity can stop these courageous people,” AAP’s MP from Punjab said.

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