Farmer who died at ITO protest had returned from Australia
(Sourced from PTI)
Protesting farmer, Navreet Singh had returned from Australia to his hometown in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur to celebrate his recent wedding. And there was a gathering indeed at his home at Dibdiba village in Bilaspur on Wednesday. But no celebration. The 27-year-old farmer's family and friends were mourning his death a day earlier.
"The farmer got crushed underneath the tractor he was driving after it toppled on the road when he tried to break through a police barricade at central Delhi's ITO during a farmers' tractor parade," police has said. "The body reached Rampur on Tuesday night and a post-mortem was conducted," a police official said.
Navreet's grieving family members, who described him as a shaheed (martyr), said he had gone to Australia for higher education and got married there recently. He came home to celebrate his wedding, they said.
"Navreet had come to his native place from Australia to throw a wedding party after he tied the knot abroad some time back," his family members said. Persuaded by his uncles, Singh visited Delhi on Republic Day to participate in the farmers' protests against the Centre's agriculture laws and drove a blue tractor at high speed, according to footage circulating on social media.
As the tractor rammed into the yellow police barricade, it flipped and Navreet came under the toppled vehicle leading to his death, the Delhi Police had said. "We came together to participate in the parade but never knew it would happen," a neighbor said.
Security has been beefed up in Rampur district with senior police officials getting on ground to review law and order. "ADG Bareilly Zone Avinash Chandra along with Rampur SP Shogun Gautam visited Bilaspur area of the district to review the law and order situation. Necessary instructions were given to personnel on the ground," the police official added.
After the Tuesday incident, protesting farmers draped his body in Tricolor and kept it at the ITO crossing, not allowing the police to send it for post-mortem. They insisted on taking back the body to the village and lashed out at mediapersons covering the incident. A senior Delhi Police officer said, "Some farmers were driving tractors rashly in an attempt to hit security personnel."
"We saw the tractor hitting the barricades. Our personnel went to rescue him, but a group of agitating farmers stopped them," the officer said. The farmers, however, denied the police version and claimed that Navreet died after being shot by the police.
"The death needs to be investigated thoroughly because an eyewitness said that a tear gas shell fired by a policeman hit Navreet's head and he lost control over the vehicle," the neighbor quoted above said. "The tractor was part of a group from the Ghazipur border that had taken a detour from the agreed upon route," a senior Delhi Police officer said.