A 58-year-old farmer died allegedly after consuming poison at a site of protest against the Centre’s three farm laws in Jind district in Haryana, police said on Wednesday. The deceased farmer has been identified as Pala Ram, Uchana Police Station SHO Ravinder Singh said over the phone.
“He consumed poison late Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning we received information that a farmer has died," he said, adding that no suicide note has been found from the spot. At the protest site at Khatkar toll plaza, 500-700 protesters usually gather during the day, while only a few stay there overnight, according to the police.
“While two to three people slept on mats outside on Tuesday night, Pala Ram went to sleep in a tent erected at the site and consumed poison," Singh said. Pala Ram used to serve food and tea to the protesting farmers at the toll plaza for the past few months.
Farmers at the protest site told the police that he seemed dejected for the past few days as the demands of the peasants agitating against the farm laws for over six months now had not been met. A few cases of suicide by farmers have been reported during the agitation. In December lat year, a Sikh preacher had also allegedly ended his life near the Singhu border protest site, claiming that he was “unable to bear the pain of the farmers".
A lawyer from Punjab had allegedly killed himself by consuming poison near the protest site at the Tikri border. Farmers have been protesting since November last year demanding that the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 be rolled back and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price for crops.
However, the government has maintained these laws are pro-farmer.