A 45-year-old farmer died allegedly by suicide on Wednesday at Haryana’s Singhu border with Delhi, The Indian Express reported.
Singhu border is one of the sites where farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been sitting in protest against the Centre’s agricultural laws since November last year.
Farmers fear that the laws will bring about corporate dominance of the agricultural sector and have demanded that the Centre to repeal them. The government, on the other hand, has refused to accept their demand. Both the sides have held several rounds of talks to try and resolve the deadlock.
The farmer who died at protest site on Wednesday was upset about the deadlock, The Indian Express reported, quoting an official from the group with which he was associated.
The deceased farmer was identified as Gurpreet Singh from Roorkee village in Punjab’s Fatehgarh Sahib district.
“In his conversation with farmers over the past two days, he [Gurpreet Singh] had mentioned being upset over the impasse on the farm laws, and that despite farmers protesting for over a year, the government had not been listening to their demands,” Gurjinder Singh, the district convenor of Bhartiya Kisan Union Ekta Sidhupur told the newspaper.
Gurpreet Singh was found hanging from a tree on Wednesday morning. “As per preliminary information, it appears to be a case of suicide,” Sonipat Deputy Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) Virender Singh said. “A probe has been initiated.”
Gurpreet Singh’s fellow protestor Ujagar Singh blamed the government for his death, NDTV reported. He said it was a “political murder”.
“We say the stubborn attitude of the government, the abandonment of talks is the reason that another farmer has died by suicide,” Ujagar Singh told the news channel. “Instead of helping us, the government is trying to break up farmers’ protest which is against democratic norms.”
Gurpreet Singh, a father of three children, was under a debt of Rs 6 lakh, his friend Nirmal Singh told the Hindustan Times. “We demand the government pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a government job to one of his children,” Singh added.