In a shocking development, a Haryana priest on Wednesday shot himself near Delhi's Singhu border, marking the first suicide for the ongoing farmers' protests. Before committing suicide, he wrote a note saying that he took the step 'unable to see farmers' struggles'.
Sant Ram Singh of Singra Gurdwara in Haryana's Karnal killed himself near Kundli near which is close to Singhu border in support of farmers agitation. He sat in his car and fired using his pistol. Singh had gone to distribute blankets on Wednesday.
In his note, he wrote, "I'm unable to witness the pain of the farmers. They are sitting on the roads and borders. I can't bear this sadness. It is a sin to witness suffering, see suffering and tolerate suffering. I urge the farmer brothers ... the government is not even giving justice..."
He further wrote, "I can't see this situation. Farmers are in the streets. Someone did something in favour of the farmers and against the oppression and someone else did something else. Many people returned the honour and someone returned the award and by returning these people expressed their anger."
"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," he further wrote.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal tweeted, "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 situation deteriorate any further & repeal the 3 agri laws."
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 situation deteriorate any further & repeal the 3 agri laws. pic.twitter.com/2ct4prkcoJ
— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) December 16, 2020
Following this, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also tweeted.
करनाल के संत बाबा राम सिंह जी ने कुंडली बॉर्डर पर किसानों की दुर्दशा देखकर आत्महत्या कर ली। इस दुख की घड़ी में मेरी संवेदनाएँ और श्रद्धांजलि।
कई किसान अपने जीवन की आहुति दे चुके हैं। मोदी सरकार की क्रूरता हर हद पार कर चुकी है।
ज़िद छोड़ो और तुरंत कृषि विरोधी क़ानून वापस लो! pic.twitter.com/rolS2DWNr1
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 16, 2020
Farmers have been protesting at several roads near Delhi borders against the three new agriculture laws for more than two weeks. The Supreme Court indicated that it may form a committee having representatives of the government and farmer unions across the country to resolve the deadlock saying "it may become a national issue".
हे राम, यह कैसा समय !
ये कौन सा युग !!
जहाँ संत भी व्यथित हैं।
संत राम सिंह जी सिंगड़े वाले ने किसानों की व्यथा देखकर अपने प्राणों की आहुति दे दी।
ये दिल झंकझोर देने वाली घटना है।प्रभु उनकी आत्मा को शांति दे।
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) December 16, 2020
The top court, which impleaded farmers Unions as parties in the matter and sought their response by Thursday, told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that "Your negotiations have not worked apparently." "It is bound to fail. You are saying you are willing to negotiate," said a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde to Mehta, who replied, "Yes, we are willing to talk to farmers".
When the apex court asked the solicitor general, who was representing the Centre to give names of the farmer organisations, which are blocking the roads on Delhi borders, he said he can give the names of those with whom Government is holding discussions. "There are members of Bharatiya Kisan Union and other organizations who are talking to the government", Mehta said adding that government is talking with the protesting farmer organisations and he can give those names to the court. He also said, "now, it appears that others have taken over the farmers protest".
The law officer said farmers and government are engaging in talks and the government was and is ready for the talks. "Difficulty is their (farmers) approach that you either repeal these Acts or we will not talk. They had come with placards of yes or no during the talks. Ministers were talking with them and they wanted to discuss the issue with farmers but they (leaders of farmer organisations) turned their chairs and showed their back with placards of yes or no," Mehta added.