A 72-year-old cultivator allegedly died by suicide at a farmer protest site in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad on Saturday morning, a police officer said. He was a part of the sit-in protest farmers have been staging at the site since November 28 against the three farm laws enacted in September to liberalise the agriculture sector.
“The deceased… was found hanging at one of the mobile toilets at the protest site. He has also left behind a note which is written in Punjabi,” said circle officer Anshu Jain. Jain added the farmer was from Rampur district. “The farmers’ committee has decided against conducting the autopsy. Prima facie, it appears to be a case of suicide and nobody has suspected any foul play. The note recovered from his possession will be examined,” said Jain.
Shamsher Rana, the national media co-ordinator of the Bharatiya Kisan Union, said the farmer, in his suicide note, blamed the government for not accepting the demands of farmers. “[He] has also mentioned that his funeral be conducted at the UP-Gate [protest site]. However, it is likely that his body will be sent to his native place and handed over to his family,” he said.
On Friday, a 57-year-old farmer from Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat died at the protest site. The cause of his death could not be ascertained as his family refused permission for a post mortem. His brother said that the deceased had complained of breathlessness on Friday morning and died later.
Hundreds of farmers from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting against the three farm laws for over a month at UP-Gate. Apart from the UP-Gate, thousands of farmers from Punjab and Haryana are camping at Delhi’s borders with Haryana at Singhu and Tikri. Farmers from Uttar Pradesh have also occupied one lane at the Chilla (Delhi-Noida link road) border. Farmers’ unions have threatened to intensify their agitation if their demands — primarily the repeal of the farm laws — are not met in their eighth round of talks with the Centre on Monday.
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