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Punjab to cancel FIRs against farmer; CM extends support, announces hiked compensation for bollworm damage

Chandigarh, Nov 17 (MNN) Expressing full support to farmers protesting against three central farm laws, Punjab Chief Minister on Wednesday announced cancellation of cases registered against protesters in the state as well as hiked compensation for pink bollworm damage.

Addressing the media here, the Chief Minister said that he had met with representatives of 32 farmer organisations during the day and accepted almost all of their 18 demands they put forth.

He said that a meeting on the demand for farm debt waiver will be held in the near future.

He said that kin of all farmers who had died in the ongoing farmer protests will be given government jobs and suitable compensation as per the norms. The farmer unions will submit certified lists of deceased protesters and the government will go by the lists, the Chief Minister said.

Channi also said that cases registered against farmers for stubble-burning too will be cancelled. “In future, we will take strict action against stubble-burning, but old cases stand cancelled. I appeal to farmers not to burn stubble as it leads to pollution,” he added.

“Rs 17,000 per acre for damage above 75 per cent to the cotton crop in Bathinda district due to bollworm attack instead of Rs 12,000 earlier will be given to the affected farmers. Ten per cent of the compensation money will be set aside to compensate cotton pickers,” the Chief Minister announced.

He said that the talks with farmer leaders was held in a cordial atmosphere and almost all of their demands had been met. They were fully satisfied with the outcome, he remarked.

“We stand by the farmers. We are even ready to resign to showcase our support. We will support the farmers in every sort of way,” Channi said.

The Chief Minister pointed out that a resolution was brought in the Assembly session as per the demands made by the farmers to say that all MLAs direct the Punjab government to not implement the “black” farm laws since they have been revoked.

“Also, a law passed by the SAD-BJP government in 2013 to facilitate contract farming has been revoked,” Channi added.

He also announced that a waiver in electricity bill payment will be extended to vegetable growers on 500 metres of land.

Channi pointed out that the state government will bring a law to ensure jobs to Punjab youths in state industry within a week.

Earlier, farmer leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan of Bhartiya Kisan (Ugrahan) told the media that they had a separate meeting with the Chief Minister around 10 am and were assured of Rs 10 lakh each as compensation to kin of three women who were mowed down by a tipper truck at Tikri on October 28. One injured woman presently admitted in the PGIMER will be given Rs 3 lakh for her treatment.

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