A second farmer has died in a week while waiting to sell his produce in Madhya Pradesh amid the coronavirus lockdown. Jairam Mandloi, 65, had been standing in a long queue under the searing heat at a wheat market, waiting for his turn to sell, when he died of cardiac arrest.
Mr Mandloi's family said he got a message from the market in Dewas, 150 km from state capital Bhopal, on May 29 to sell his wheat. They said he waited at the market for his turn for the next two days.
His family said he didn't have any pre-existing illnesses.
"There is no token system. People are allowed to sell on first come, first serve. Had there been a token system, we could have reached at a given time," said the farmer's brother, Ramchandra Mandloi, who accompanied him to the wheat market.
The farmer's son, Sachin, said a tractor driver informed them that his father had suffered a cardiac arrest and they were taking him to a hospital in Dewas. "When I came to Dewas from Ujjain (36 km apart), they told me about his death," Sachin said.
#farmer suffered cardiac arrest while waiting.for his turn at a wheat procurement centre in.Dewas— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) June 2, 2020
This is the second such death in a week.@ChouhanShivraj@nstomar@ndtvindia@ndtvindia@jitupatwari@OfficeOfKNath@MPArunYadav#protests2020#Lockdown5pic.twitter.com/961LSCXOdf
On whether the wheat market should have had a proper procedure to avoid long wait, Sachin said, "What more can I say? My father is no more."
Dewas sub-divisional magistrate Pravin Soni said the farmer was taken to Dewas district hospital on Sunday night, but died during treatment. "His death is unfortunate. We are processing the papers to give Rs 4 lakh to his family under the Krishap Kalyan Yojana," Mr Soni said.
State Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel said cardiac arrest could happen to anyone. "Anyone can suffer a heart attack… We have bought 122 lakh tonnes of wheat. We are buying gram, we are buying wheat, which was never done by the Congress," Mr Patel said. "Something or the other happens when we work on such a massive scale… We will buy every single grain from farmers," he said.
Former minister and Congress leader Jeetu Patwari alleged the BJP government is "taking revenge from farmers" for not support it in the state elections.
"They have declared the loan waiver scheme as a sin. Irregularities during grain procurement has become a norm, first in Agar and now in Dewas. Shivraj Singh Chauhan is ruling by just giving speeches. He should tell the agriculture minister to resign," Mr Patwari said.
On May 25, another farmer, Prem Singh, 45, died of a cardiac arrest in Agar Malwa district after waiting in a queue for six days to sell his produce.
The government has extended the wheat procurement period till June 5.