Farmer leader Ugrahan tests positive for coronavirus

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Chandigarh, Mar 20 (PTI) Farmer leader Joginder Singh Ugrahan, whose outfit is taking part in the stir against the Centre’s farm laws, has tested positive for coronavirus.

The 75-year-old Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) president was tested for the infection on March 17 at a private hospital in Bathinda, said a doctor on Saturday.

Ugrahan had complained of fever, said the doctor while talking to reporters in Bathinda.

Meanwhile, the farmer leader in a video message said he is fine and will soon join the stir against the farm laws.

“I fell sick a few days ago. Then I tested positive for coronavirus. I am fine. I will join you (protesting farmers) in a couple of days. There is no need to worry,” said Ugrahan in the video clip.

BKU (Ekta-Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan said Ugrahan is undergoing treatment at a hospital and he is fine.

The faction led by Ugrahan is one of the biggest farmer bodies in Punjab and has been participating in the stir against the Centre’s farm laws at the Delhi borders.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting since late November at Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020; and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the 'mercy' of big corporations.

However, the Centre has maintained that the new laws will bring better opportunities to farmers and introduce new technologies in agriculture. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK