On November 19, Punjab's chief minister, Charanjit Singh Channi, announced that a memorial would be erected to honour the lives lost during the farmers' protest. The announcement comes in soon after Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation on repealing the three controversial laws on Guru Nanak Jayanti. Over 600 farmers passed away during the agitation, which lasted for around 333 days.
Channi welcomed the Centre's recent decision. "After independence, if there was any big struggle, it was this," he told ANI. Further, he added that the withdrawal of the laws resulted from the arduous struggle the farmers endured.
According to The Tribune, the state government will consult the farmers' unions about the memorial site. Channi explained, "The memorial will have names of all those who died during the stir. It will be a tribute to the sustained movement that shook the Centre. The success is an outcome of farmers' long and zealous struggle and will be scripted in the annals of history."
The CM has also demanded compensation from the Central Government to deceased farmers' families and the losses incurred during the movement. "The BJP led government should admit on the record to have made a blunder in bringing these bills," said Channi. He asked Centre to announce a financial package as well to relieve farmers under crushing debt.
'Much Delayed Step'
Although everyone is welcoming this move, they cannot help but point out the delay in the same. Channi stated that this step should have come earlier as it could have saved precious lives. However, the agitation is still going on. The farmers have demanded clarity on Minimum Support Prices (MSP) as well as on the public procurement of crops.
While many hailed the announcement, several people are not buying it. Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader, Rakesh Tikait, has told everyone to stay put at the Delhi borders until the Parliament officially takes back the laws. With Punjab and UP Assembly elections around the corner, many are doubtful about the Centre's intentions to look after the farmers' welfare.