Amarinder, Khattar condole death of Sikh preacher near Singhu border
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday termed the death of Sikh preacher Baba Ram Singh, who was supporting the farmers' protest and allegedly died by suicide near the Singhu border, "an irreparable loss". Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also expressed grief over the 65-year-old preacher's death. Baba Ram Singh hailed from Singhra village in the Nissing area of Karnal district.
Unable to bear the 'pain of farmers'
Police said he allegedly died by suicide on Wednesday. A handwritten note in Punjabi, purportedly left behind by the deceased, says he was unable to bear the "pain of farmers". Police is verifying the note. An official of the Sonipat police said they had received a call that he allegedly shot himself. The hospital authorities in Panipat declared him brought dead.
A moment of great sorrow: Khattar
Khattar said Sant Ram Singh's death "is an irreparable loss for the Sant Samaj, the country and the state". He added that the demise was also an "irreparable loss" to him. "This is a moment of great sorrow," he said in a tweet. Khattar said the real tribute to Singh would be to walk the path of human welfare shown by him.
Amarinder also expressed grief
Amarinder, too, said he was saddened on learning about the preacher's death. "Extremely shocked and saddened on learning the tragic news of Sant Ram Singh ji of Nanaksar Singhra wale from Karnal ending his life at Singhu Border in protest against the Centre's Farm Laws. My prayers are with his family and supporters in this time of grief," he said in a tweet.
Reaction from his followers
Sant Ram Singh's body was taken to the Nanaksar Gurdwara in Singhra village, Karnal on Wednesday night, where a large number of his followers had gathered. Many recalled that he had dedicated his life to the service of humanity and also used to organize 'satsangs' (prayer meetings) and 'langars' (community kitchen) for thousands of people.
Farmers are demanding the Centre to repeal new farm laws
Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and other states have been protesting near Delhi's borders for over three weeks, demanding that the Centre's new farm laws be repealed. Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union chief Gurnam Singh on Thursday said Sant Ram Singh was a noble soul who dedicated his life to humanity's service.
Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union chief Gurnam Singh's statement
"Being a pious soul, he was deeply hurt on seeing the pain and sufferings of thousands of farmers, many among them old and women too, out there on roads during cold wintry days and nights for past several days seeking repeal of anti-farmer laws".
Further comments from opposition parties
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had on Wednesday said the Modi government should quit its "stubbornness" and withdraw the new farm laws that the farmers are protesting. Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said he was anguished to hear that the cleric allegedly died by suicide.