Sugarcane farmer dies while protesting over non-payment of dues
A farmer died here on Sunday while protesting against the non-payment of sugarcane dues, causing an outrage among fellow agitating farmers on the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to hold a rally in the district.
Sugarcane farmers have been holding protests against the government for various demands, most significant of which was the lack of clearance of dues. Farmers continued the protest indefinitely when the demands were not fulfilled. Even in the blazing heat, the farmers are protesting.
The health of the farmer in question, Udayavir, whose health started deteriorating rapidly, passed away early today.
His death enraged the protesters, who did not let the authorities move the body of the deceased.
Continued protests saw two more farmers getting admitted to the hospital, as their health had also deteriorated.
“Since the last five-six days, these farmers have been protesting. Their demands include several essentials, most importantly clearance of their sugarcane dues. One of the farmers has expired, but police officials are all busy (due to the rally)…. It is a shame really,” said Arun Tomar, one of the representatives of the farmers.
“When we received the information (about the death), we immediately came here and upon checking, found that there was no pulse…The reason of death can only be assessed after post-mortem,” said Dr. Rajiv Tyagi, who checked Udayavir.
In the wake of the incidents, Samajwadi Party chief, Akhilesh Yadav took a potshot at Prime Minister Modi’s rally in the area, saying, “Baghpat, Meerut Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor ke log jaante hain ki kitna kisanon ka bakaya hai ganne ka. Road show se ganne ka jo bakaya paisa hai woh toh milna nahi hai. SC ne order diya tab sadak (Eastern Peripheral Expressway) ka inauguration hua (The people of Baghpat, Meerut Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor know how much they are owed for their sugarcane. Holding road shows will not get them their money. Only after the Supreme Court ordered did they inaugurate the Eastern Peripheral Expressway).”
However, in the rally, Prime Minister Modi said, “I want to assure all the sugarcane farmers here that the government is sensitive towards their issues and is working to resolve all the problems.” (ANI)