New Delhi: In what could be called as a clear washing its hands off the issue, the Union government claims to have no record of farmer deaths during the yearlong protests against the three controversial agricultural bills, which has been now repealed, in the borders of national capitals. Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar told Parliament, “(The) Ministry of Agriculture has no record in the matter, and hence the question (of aid) does not arise.”
In a response to the question on whether it proposes to provide financial assistance to the family of farmers who died during the agitation, the government stated, “The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare has no record in the matter and hence the question does not arise.” While the Opposition continues to demand compensation for the kin of the farmers who lost their lives during the year-long protest against the farm laws, the government in Parliament maintained that it has no record of those who died.
Even as the Union government was making it clear that it doesn’t have any data on the farmers’ deaths, it is reported that Punjab government has recorded over 200 deaths of the farmers from its state. On the other hand we have Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the body spearheading the farmer protest, has put the figure to over 670 deaths. A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the rollback of the farm laws, the farmers’ body stated, “So far, more than 670 protesters have sacrificed their lives in this movement. The Modi government has refused to acknowledge the high human cost. The martyrs also deserve homage to be paid to them in the Parliament session, and a memorial erected in their name.”
Even as the debate over the record of farmers’ deaths during the protests near Delhi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi had tweeted, “700 farmers were martyred in the farmers’ protest. Their martyrdom was not spoken about in Parliament today, nor was it respected by paying tribute.”