Running out of patience, say widows of indebted farmers

Barnala, March 9: The widows of indebted farmers who have committed suicide criticised the working of the Punjab government during the state-level “Lalkar” rally of the BKU Ugrahan at the local grain market. The rally was organised to remind the Congress of its poll promises and to announce its future course of action against the government if it continues to betray farmers of the state.

The organisers announced a “Karza Mukti” rally in Chandigarh on April 3.“Both my husband and son committed suicide due to debt of Rs 12 lakh. My husband had taken a debt of only Rs 1.5 lakh, but private money lender is increasing it every year in papers despite payments by my son.

The Congress came as a hope, but it is fading fast,” said Gurmeet Kaur, resident of Chhajli village, at the rally. Another widow Sukhwant Kaur from Dharmgarh village alleged that her family had a debt of Rs 18 lakh, but after the death of her husband, private money lenders were unwilling even to share the details of their debt and threatened to take possession of her one acre land and house as they had the alleged backing of some policemen.

“Big industrialists are easily leaving the country after frauds of thousands of crores of rupees, but our governments do not have money to waive the debt of farmers despite repeated promises by political parties before coming to power.

We will intensify our agitation in future to get our right of complete debt waiver,” said Joginder Singh Ugraha, president of BKU Ugrahan.

The main demands include recovery of all debt from big landlords and complete debt waiver to small and marginal farmers, Rs 10-lakh financial help to families of deceased farmers and one government job to their family members, division of surplus land among landless labourers, ban on land auctions of indebted farmers and withdrawal of all moves to start electricity bills of tubewells.

Source Tribune India