Punjab: Farmer, son commit suicide over farm laws, debt

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Hoshiarpur (Pb), Feb 20 (PTI) A debt-ridden farmer and his son allegedly committed suicide at a village here, mentioning in a note that they were upset over the Centre's farm laws and the state government's failure to waive their loans.

Jagtar Singh (70) and his son Kirpal Singh (42) were found dead at their residence in Muhadipur village on Saturday morning, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Munish Kumar said.

They had consumed a poisonous substance, police said.

In a suicide note recovered from their residence, they wrote that they were taking the extreme step because of debt, accusing the Congress government in Punjab of not honouring its promise of waiving their farm loans.

They further mentioned in the note that they were distressed as the Centre did not repeal the new farm laws.

The two owned one acre of land.

The bodies were sent to the Dasuya Civil Hospital for a post-mortem, police said.

Meanwhile, Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s resignation.

“The lies and deceit of the Congress government have been unmasked,” SAD leader and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said in a statement.

The SAD also asked the Union government to repeal the three agricultural laws.

“Jagtar Singh and Kirpal Singh have clearly stated in their suicide note that they were also taking this extreme step due to the agony caused by the Centre's refusal to listen to the voice of the farming community,” said Majithia.

The father-son duo's suicide has exposed the lies of Amarinder Singh who had promised to waive all farmers’ loans once elected to power, the Akali leader said.

AAP leaders Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer visited the residence of the victims and expressed their condolences to the bereaved family members.

A statement by AAP's Punjab unit quoting the two party MLAs, said, 'The suicide note clearly stated that Captain Amarinder Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led governments were responsible for their deaths.' They said Amarinder Singh had said if the Congress comes to power in Punjab, the debt of farmers will be waived.

'But today, due to non-waiving of the debt of the farmers, they were forced to take such a painful step,' alleged Sandhwan.

They further said, 'The false pretences and frauds perpetrated by the Congress government have now been exposed and Amarinder Singh should resign immediately.' PTI CORR CHS SUN RDK RDK