Tribune News Service
Sonepat, December 22
A 65-year- old farmer tried to commit suicide by drinking poison at the ongoing farmers’ protest at the Singhu border on Monday, sources said—the third such instance in a week and the second in two days.
The victim, identified as Niranjan Singh from Punjab’s Taran Taran, was first admitted to a general hospital but was later moved to Rohtak’s Post Graduate Institute Medical Science.
Not much else is know about specifics of the case, however.
This is the third such instance in one week. A Sikh priest from a gurdwara in Haryana who joined the protests shot himself over what he saw was “injustice” to Sikh farmers last week. Head of a gurdwara in Karnal, the priest, Baba Ram Singh, left a suicide note that said he couldn’t see the plight of the protesting farmers.
A 22-year-old farmer from Bathinda’s Dayalpura Mirza village who was part of the prolonged protest killed himself when he returned home on Saturday. Not much else is known about the reason for his death.
Farmers mainly from Punjaba and Haryana have laid siege to Delhi and have been holding protests on the borders of the city, including the Singhu border, for nearly a month now against the central government’s controversial agriculture reforms.
The protests began in September when Parliament passed the three controversial laws but have since escalated, especially when farmers decided to march to Delhi in November. The agitation has been steadily getting support from other parts of the country as well, and has increased pressure on the central government to give in.
The Centre and farmer unions have since held several rounds of talks amid a growing chorus of criticism of the government’s handling of the situation. Neither party however has yet climbed down from their demands—farmers want a complete repeal of the laws, while the central government remains firm on offering concessions that are just short of rescinding the laws entirely.
Farmers’ primary objection to the law is their fear that the law will weaken the existing APMC system that assures them a minimum support price for their produce, and leave them at the mercy of private and corporate interests. They also fear that the clause allowing contract farming will give major corporations greater control over their lands.
The central government denies these allegations and maintains that the laws are in farmers’ interest.