Since last November, when the scars of the first Corona wave were still afresh, the farmers in the state of Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh have been protesting the farm laws. Despite repeated calls from the Union government to talk over the issues and call off the protest, the tamasha is going on, even during the deadly second wave.
The farmers’ protest has become a super-spreader event in these states, and this has led to the spread of the virus in rural areas. Moreover, the fatality rate in these states, especially in Punjab – the epicentre of protest – is much higher compared to the rest of the country.
As Covid spreads in the rural areas of Haryana, the Khattar government is trying to minimize the damage with a manifold increase in door-to-door testing and augmentation of medical infrastructure. The stupid protesters are posing an additional burden on the government at a time when its hands are already full.
“A month ago, I appealed to farmer leaders to suspend their protest amid the Covid-19 spread. I told them they could resume after the situation is under control. Now it has emerged that these dharnas have made a few villages hotspots of Covid-19 as villagers travelled back and forth from the protest sites,” said Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar.
Khattar repeated his appeal to call off the protest in order to save human life but it is unlikely that farm leaders would listen because they have ulterior motives in mind, not the welfare of farmers and rural folks.
“In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, I once again appeal to the farmer leaders to suspend their protests. The only goal, of all of us, should be to save the lives of people in the time of this crisis. There is nothing more than human life,” Khattar said.
The Khattar government also announced insurance of 2 lakh rupees for the people who are dying due to Covid. “The government will provide an insurance of 2 lakh if a poor person over the age of 50 dies due to the virus. The premium of Beema Yojana will be deposited by the state government in their accounts and from the same account, the amount of premium will be deducted”, Khattar said, as per a report by ANI.
The farmer’s protest contributed a great deal in the spread of the Covid in Delhi, Punjab, Western Uttar Pradesh, and now Haryana. The union of the protesting farmers is so stupid that 32 farmer unions from Punjab, agitating against the revolutionary farm law, held a protest against lockdown.
As reported previously by TFI, the covid cases across Delhi and Punjab accounting for the highest number of the UK mutant variant of the virus have seemingly come from the Farmers who had participated in the protests.
The ‘virus carrier’ farmers of the Doaba region soon marched towards Delhi for the farmers’ protests and camped in and around the Singhu border. Aided by the Arhatiyas (middlemen) and the support of the AAP government which provided them with lodging facilities, the virus quietly made its way into the capital. And now the spread has reached the rural areas of Haryana too.
The farmer’s protest has already caused the loss of thousands of crores to the exchequer and thus the government should step up and immediately stop the protest by force because these are not the kind of people who listen to appeals.