Unable to see the plight of protesting farmers at the Singhu border, a Sikh priest from Haryana shot himself on Wednesday. Leaving behind a suicide note, he mentioned the reason that he cannot see the farmers suffering and struggling like this.
The deceased has been identified as the Baba Ram Singh of Singhra village in Nissing area of Karnal, Haryana. He was a religious preacher followed by many people in Haryana and Punjab.
65-year old Baba Ram Singh shot himself in Kundali with his licensed gun while sitting in his car. He had gone to distribute blankets at the protesting site on December 17.
The suicide note written in Punjabi stated, “I have witnessed the plight of the farmers, who are on the streets, struggling for their rights. I am hurt to see that the government is not giving them justice. It is a crime. It is a sin to oppress and it is a sin to suffer.”
He further stated, “Nobody did anything against the oppression and for the rights of the farmers. Many even expressed their protest by returning awards.”
“Today I commit suicide in favour of the farmers and in the fury of government oppression. It is a voice against oppression and a voice in the glory of farmers,” wrote Baba Ram Singh.
Many from opposition censured the government’s attitude towards the issue.
“Anguished to hear that Sant Baba Ram Singh ji Nanaksar Singhra wale shot himself at Singhu border in Kisan Dharna, looking at farmers’ suffering. 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,” tweeted Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also asked the Modi government to leave its ‘stubbornness’ and withdraw the laws.
He wrote to the social media platform, Twitter, “Sant Baba Ram Singh Ji of Karnal committed suicide after seeing the plight of the farmers on the Kundli border. My condolences and tribute in this hour of grief. Many farmers have sacrificed their lives. The brutality of the Modi government has crossed all limits. Quit stubbornness and immediately withdraw the anti-agricultural law.”
On Wednesday, Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre and told Solicitor Tushar Mehta that it is intended to set up a negotiation committee. The court further stated that government negotiations with protesting farmers have not worked apparently till now. So now the apex court will form a negotiation committee comprising members from the government, farmers’ unions, and other stakeholders involved.
The farmers’ protest at the Singhu border has entered its 22nd day. This suicide of Baba Ram Singh has been marked as the first suicide during this largest protest in the world.
The farmers have been protesting against the three agricultural laws to scrap them altogether. The three laws include Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act & Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.