The union government on Tuesday said it has no data pertaining to either cases against farmers or the number of farmers who died during the year-long agitation, demanding repeal of the three contentious farm laws, and hence, there was no question of providing financial assistance to anyone. Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said this in reply to questions on ‘Agitation of Farm Laws’ raised by a bunch of MPs in the Lok Sabha.
Among other questions, the MPs had sought to know the number of cases registered against farmers in connection with the agitation; the data on the number of farmers who died during the agitation held in and around the National Capital; and whether the government proposes to provide financial assistance to the kin of farmers who died during the said agitation.
The ministry’s curt reply was that it has no record on the matter and hence, the question of providing financial assistance does not arise.
In an earlier part of this unstarred question, the reply had detailed how the government had held 11 rounds of discussions with the farm leaders to dissolve the situation and also listed a number of steps that it has taken to the question about “whether the Government proposes to protect farmers’ interests and implement support price for agricultural produce.”
Apart from the main demand of repeal of the three contentious laws — that have now been officially repealed by the Parliament — the farmers agitating for more than a year have demanded withdrawal of cases against them during the time of the agitation and paying compensation to and rehabilitation of the families of the martyred farmers, who lost their lives during the same time.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, that has spearheaded the agitation, has said that about 700 farmers have lost their lives during the agitation since last year.