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BKU (Ugrahan) starts sit-in protest in Patiala

3-day-long protest in Punjab CM’s hometown demands effective steps from Congress govt. to control COVID-19 pandemic

Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), one of the largest farmer outfits in Punjab, on Friday started a 3-day-long sit-in protest in Patiala against the Congress government over its alleged failure to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 situation, even as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged the outfit to not go ahead with the protest, apprehending the event would turn into a super-spreader event for COVID-19.

Farmers associated with the BKU(U) demanded the State government take effective steps to control COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, farmers also urged the Congress government to rally round to strengthen the farmers’ struggle against the three new farm laws and other demands made to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre.

Sukhdev Singh, general secretary of BKU (U), said the protest was being held with all COVID-19 precautions in place. Mr. Singh said the State government had failed to control the situation arising out of COVID-19 pandemic. “There is a shortage of doctors and health workers in the hospitals and people are not getting proper treatment. In the absence of staff, ventilators and other equipment in government hospitals are not being put to optimum use. Corona-related medicines and oxygen are being black-marketed in the State,” he said.

He demanded that new recruitment should be done immediately in the Health Department and vaccines should be made available to all people free of charge. Free COVID-19 tests should be arranged in every city, town and village, he added.

“All large private hospitals should be brought under government control. The rates of treatment of corona patients in small private hospitals should be capped. We want the State government to resolve all the issues,” he added.

Mr. Singh said that amid the lockdown restrictions almost all sections of the society were suffering, and therefore the restrictions should be immediately lifted. “The State government should ensure adequate financial support for the livelihood, employment, income and business of the people as people have been adversely impacted by lockdown restrictions,” he said.

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