New Delhi: A senior lawyer allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison at the farmers’ protest site at Tikri border Sunday morning.
Amarjit Singh was a part of a group of lawyers who had come from Punjab’s Jalalabad to take part in the protests in Tikri, where farmers have been camping for over a month now, apart from various other border points in the national capital, against the three farm laws passed by the Narendra Modi government.
A member of the Bar Association of Jalalabad in Fazilka district, Singh allegedly consumed poison near Bibi Gulab Kaur stage at the border. He was taken to PGIMS Rohtak in a critical condition, where he died later.
This is the third alleged suicide in the last two weeks linked to the farmer protests.
“He (Singh) was aged 50-55 years and brought from near Tikri Border this morning in a serious condition. He had consumed poison and died,” Dr Gajendra Singh, Public Information Officer, PGIMS Rohtak, told ThePrint.
Station House Officer, Surender Kumar, of Sadar Bahadurgarh, said: “We got a call at around 11 am that a body has been brought from near Tikri Border and is kept at PGIMS Rohtak. A post-mortem will be conducted soon.”
A typed suicide note, dated 18 December with Singh’s signature, has been recovered from him. The note is addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which Singh purportedly wrote that he is offering himself as a sacrifice in support of the agitation and to “shake his deaf and dumb conscience”.
‘People defrauded by your black bills’
In the letter, titled ‘Letter to Modi, the Dictator’, Singh hit out at the PM for the three farm laws.
“The general public of India has given you absolute majority, power and faith for saving and prospering their life. After independence, the common people expected a better future in you as prime minister. But with great sorrow and pains, I have to write that you have become the prime minister of a special group like Ambani, Adani etc,” said the letter, seen by ThePrint.
“The common people is feeling defrauded by your three agricultural black bills and worst life is inevitable. The public is on the tracks and roads not for votes, but for livelihoods of their families and generations (sic),” it added.
The letter also urged the PM not to “snatch” away the lives and livelihoods of the common people. “Kindly don’t snatch the bread and butter (roti) of farmers, labourers, and common people for a few capitalists and don’t compel them to eat Sulphos. Socially you have betrayed the public and politically you have betrayed your associate parties like SAD.”
It added: “Listen, the voice of the people is the voice of God. It is said that you wish for sacrifices like Godhra and I also offer my sacrifice in support of this worldwide agitation for the shaking of your deaf and dumb conscience.”
On 20 December, a 22-year-old farmer allegedly killed himself after returning from the protest at Singhu border. On 16 December, a Sikh preacher, Sant Baba Ram Singh, who was “pained” by the protesting farmers’ plight, allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself. On 21 December, a 65-year-old farmer allegedly attempted suicide at Singhu border by consuming poison.
Amid rising ‘suicides’, farmer union leaders have urged protesters to not take such drastic steps.
“The agrarian crisis is responsible for depression among many in Punjab. But as farmer leaders, we urge everyone not to commit suicide and instead please join the struggle. Suicides will only demoralise protesters, but we need to continue our struggle in a peaceful manner,” said Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakonda).
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