Dilli Chalo | Farmers protest during airing of Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’

Lawyer from Punjab commits suicide at stir site.

December 27, 2020 11:27 pm | Updated December 28, 2020 01:23 am IST - NEW DELHI

Farmers beat oil tins in protest during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Mann Ki Baat” radio at the Ghazipur border in New Delhi on December 27, 2020.

Farmers beat oil tins in protest during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Mann Ki Baat” radio at the Ghazipur border in New Delhi on December 27, 2020.

A 55-year-old advocate from Punjab died in yet another case of alleged suicide at the farmers’ agitation site in Tikri and demonstrations were held at several places across the country with protesters clanging utensils during the airing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat programme on Sunday. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, however, reiterated at a government function in Himachal Pradesh that no one could take away farmers land from them through contract farming.

At Tikri, Amarjit Singh, a lawyer in the Fazilka district, allegedly consumed a poisonous substance at Bahadurgarh and was declared dead at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences at Rohtak, where he was rushed.

Comment | The farmers’ protest, truths and half-truths

“He took his life at Naya Gaon Chowk in Bahadurgarh by consuming some poisonous substance. We are waiting for his family to come to ascertain the cause behind him taking the extreme step. We are not in possession of any suicide note,” said Inspector Surender Kumar, Station House Officer, Sadar Bahadurgarh.

The farmer unions, however, claimed that Amarjit reportedly left behind a suicide note in support of the ongoing agitation.

All-India Kisan Sangharsh Co-ordination Committee organising secretary Avik Shah, in a tweet, said he was shocked to learn about the suicide. He said that he was disturbed to know that the police were denying suicide and it was an attempt to manage headlines.

Also read | Congress, Akalis slam BJP over use of offensive terms against farmers

Sikh priest Baba Ram Singh had allegedly shot himself at Singhu border a week ago saying that he was perturbed over the plight of the agitating farmers.

As the protest entered its 32nd day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the Singhu border protests site during the Kirtan Darbar  organised at the Guru Teg Bahadur Memorial to commemorate the martyrdom of Char Sahibzada and Mata Gujri. 

Speaking at the venue, Mr Kejriwal attacked the BJP-led Centre over the three farm laws. “All the farmers sitting on protest with their elderly and children in the extreme cold are here because it is a question of their survival. This has become a fight to the finish; when farming goes into the hands of the corporates, it will cease to exist,” he said.

Also read | I appeal with folded hands to Centre to repeal farm laws, says Kejriwal

The AIKSCC, in a press statement, said farmers, workers and other sections of people assembled at thousands of places in response to the call from the unions to clang vessels during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Mann Ki Baat” broadcast against his indifference to farmers.

“While the farmers demand government investment in agriculture infrastructure and food processing, the government refuses to help farmers’ development and plans to spend crores of rupees to help corporates and multinational companies to invest in Indian agriculture. This is the path of self-destruction, not a tmanirbharta  (self-reliance),” said the statement. 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in an address to mark three years of the Himachal Pradesh government, said people with vested interests were spreading rumours to create misunderstanding that the minimum support price (MSP) scheme would end, but the facts were contrary.

Also read | Modi releases ₹18,000 crore to nine crore farmers

“It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who accepted the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission report on MSP. Now it is announced under this new system. The MSP for Rabi crops has already been announced after the promulgation of new laws,” said Mr. Singh. 

He reiterated that no one could take away farmers’ land from them. Mr. Singh said misinformation was being spread that farmers’ land would be taken away through contract farming.

(Those in need of help can contact Sanjivini, Society for Mental Health over telephone: 011-4076 9002.)

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