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Punjab to bear treatment cost of farmers injured in protest, health minister says

Chandigarh, Feb 14 (IANS) The Punjab government will bear all cost of treatment for injured people during the ongoing farmers’ protest, state Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh said here on Wednesday.

After visiting government health facilities, he said keeping in view the safety of protesting farmers, all hospitals adjoining the Haryana border have been put on high alert and emergency services are being provided round the clock.

He said there was no shortage of doctors in the government health facilities and doctors have been asked to stay put at the hospitals, while deployment of ambulances have also been intensified along the border.

He also asked the local health authorities to keep 14 ambulances on standby with requisite staff and medicines in case of emergent need.

He said being the nearest to the Shambu border at least 40 injured people were admitted at the Civil Hospital in Rajpura of which two have sustained serious head injuries and are undergoing treatment. Condemning the Haryana government for the unprovoked police action at protesting farmers, Balbir Singh said the Haryana government has no right to stop farmers, who were peacefully heading to Delhi to hold protest.

“National highway is the property of nation and farmers were just to pass from Haryana’s jurisdiction to reach Delhi,” he said, while terming the role of the Haryana government as unconstitutional and illegal.

He also urged the BJP-led Haryana government to let the farmers to reach the national capital to raise their demands peacefully.

Huge security build-up continued on inter-state borders between Punjab and Haryana on the second day on Wednesday, as assembled protesting farmers are adamant on heading to the national capital to lodge their protest over unfulfilled demands, including legal guarantee of minimum support prices (MSP) of crops.

Police used tear gas on demonstrators in a bid to stop farmers’ protests from reaching the capital.

Scores of policemen and farmers got injured in stone pelting that ensued between them.


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