A 42-year old farmer from Haryana’s Rohtak district, agitating against the new farm laws at Delhi’s Tikri border, reportedly killed himself on Tuesday night by consuming a poisonous substance, according to The Indian Express.
The farmer, who identified himself as Jai Bhagwan Rana in a suicide note that he left behind, consumed sulphas tablets, according to the police. He was taken to nearby Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, where he died during treatment, The Indian Express reported. Rana was the fifth farmer who killed himself in the farmers’ protest at various borders of the national Capital.
“The police were informed that a farmer had consumed poison at the Tikri border at around 2.30 am [on Wednesday],” an unidentified police official told the Hindustan Times. “He was immediately rushed to a hospital in an ambulance that had been deployed at the protest site. He was declared dead at around 3:30 am. The police have initiated a probe.”
In a purported note that Rana left, he urged the government and farmers’ unions to resolve the deadlock on agriculture laws, according to the Hindustan Times.
“My name is Jai Bhagwan Rana and I am a small farmer,” he wrote. “The government says it is a matter of only two to three states, but farmers from all over the country are protesting against the laws. Sadly, it is not a movement now, but a fight of issues. The talks between the farmers and the Centre also remain deadlocked. The government should call the farmers from all states and take their opinion in front of the media and decide for itself.”
Rana hailed from Pakasma village in Rohtak and had joined the protest two weeks ago. He is survived by his parents, three brothers, wife and an 11-year-old daughter, reported The Indian Express.
“We didn’t know he would take this step,” Rana’s father Takdir told the newspaper. “He was the only person in our family to come here and protest...I want the government to repeal these laws. We don’t want to lose our sons because of this protest.”
Meanwhile, another farmer, 60-year old Dhana Singh from Punjab’s Patiala, died of heart attack at the Tikri border, reported the Hindustan Times. Several farmers have died due to cold and other reasons, as the protests continued for over a month. On Wednesday, farmers’ body Bharatiya Kisan Union told The Indian Express that more than 100 people have lost their lives.
“We have lost so many brothers while protesting on the highways in this bone-chilling weather, but it’s not bothering the government.” Manjeet Singh, District President of Patiala, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), told the Hindustan Times. “The government should understand that these sacrifices will further strengthen our movement since now we have to also fight for those who are dying during the protest.”
Farmers have completed over 50 days of continuous protest on the borders of Delhi, demanding the repeal of the three contentious legislations and a legal guarantee that all farm produce would be sold at minimum support prices. The farmers believe that the new laws undermine their livelihood and open the path to the corporatisation of the agricultural sector.
On Wednesday, the government agreed to suspend the implementation of the three laws for one-and-a-half years and offered to convey it to the Supreme Court in an affidavit.