four extra farmers die, toll crosses 50

Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 3

Four more farmers died at Tikri and Singhu near Delhi border over the past 24 hours even as the protesting unions are set to hold talks with the Centre tomorrow.

As the toll of farmers from Punjab and Haryana alone crossed 50, union leaders slammed the ruling Haryana BJP-JJP alliance leadership for their “silence” on the loss of lives. “More than 50 farmers have died in around 40 days. No condolences have come from the ruling alliance leaders,” said BKU leader Gurnam Singh Charuni. While Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala and Haryana BJP chief OP Dhankar remained incommunicado, CLP leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said he had raised the demand for compensation and a government job to the next of those who died in the agitation.

AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “This conspiracy of silence has meant that CM Manohar Lal Khattar and his Cabinet colleagues have not said a word of condolence on the deaths. Such leaders have no right to continue in power even for a day.”

Punjab BJP chief Ashwini Sharma, however, expressed regret over the deaths. He said they had been urging the unions to send children, women and senior citizens home. “We expect the matter to be resolved soon,” he said.

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