Aghast at farmers' plight, Sikh preacher shoots self near Singhu
A Sikh preacher from Haryana identified as Baba Ram Singh shot himself near the Singhu border, the epicenter of farmers' agitation, on Wednesday, allegedly because he was hurt by the treatment meted out to the protesters. The tragic incident took place in Kundli, not far from the Singhu border. Also known as Nanaksar Singhra Wale, Singh had reached the spot on Tuesday. Here's more.
Written in Gurmukhi, the purported suicide note reveals that Singh was saddened after seeing the farmers' condition. "I saw the anguish of the farmers. They are suffering on the roads to get their rights. My heart was very pained at this. The government is not doing justice. This is injustice," the note read. He dubbed oppression as well as tolerating oppression a "sin."
The priest underlined many people extended support to the agitation, which has been continuing for nearly 20 days now. "Some have returned their awards to express their anger. I am taking my life in support of the farmers, and against the atrocities of the government. This is a voice against injustice. This is a voice in support of the hard-working farmers," his note read.
DCP Sonepat Shyam Lal Poonia said Singh shot himself in his car. While it's said he used his licensed revolver, Kundli Police station SHO Ravi Kumar claimed cops have to ascertain the weapon used. "His associates have given a statement to the police that he died by suicide. Our probe is on," Kumar said. Karnal SP Ganga Ram Punia said the area is peaceful.
Just yesterday, Singh met Gurnam Singh Charuni, who heads the Haryana wing of Bharatiya Kisan Union. The farmers' leader said Singh spoke to him for 45 minutes. "He asked about the prevailing situation and was concerned about the farm agitation. It is a very big sacrifice," he asserted. Singh reportedly died around 4 pm. He was rushed to Park Plaza Hospital, but couldn't survive.
Remembering Singh, a villager named Karamjeet Virk told IE that the deceased moved to Singhra village from Punjab's Jagraon in the early 1990s. "He was a religious man and did not opt for married life," Virk said. The mortal remains will be taken to Singhra village and the last rites will be held on Friday. His death was condoled by several opposition leaders.
Congress' Rahul Gandhi offered his condolences and said, "The brutality of the Modi government has crossed all limits. Quit stubbornness and immediately withdraw the anti-agricultural law. (sic)" Sukhbir Singh Badal, from Shiromani Akali Dal, said, "Sant ji's sacrifice won't be allowed to go in vain. I urge GOI not to let the situation deteriorate any further & repeal the 3 agri laws. (sic)"
संत बाबा राम सिंह जी की आत्महत्या की ख़बर बेहद पीड़ादाई है। इस दुख की घड़ी में उनके परिवार के प्रति संवेदनाएं।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 16, 2020
हमारा किसान अपना हक़ ही तो मांग रहा है, सरकार को किसानों की आवाज़ सुननी चाहिए और तीनो काले कानून वापस लेने चाहिए। pic.twitter.com/TWFpi47vCW