New Delhi: A Sikh preacher allegedly shot himself to death amid the farmers’ protests at the Singhu border Wednesday evening. Sant Baba Ram Singh of Karnal purportedly left behind a suicide note saying he was unable to see the plight of the protesting farmers.
“We don’t have much details now, except that he was elderly and he was camping at Singhu border and distributing quilts. His suicide note says that he couldn’t bear to see the plight of the farmers and shot himself. But we don’t have any other details now,” Satyavan, working group member, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), told ThePrint.
In his suicide note, accessed by ThePrint, Ram Singh has accused the government of not dispensing justice. “I have been watching the pain of the farmers who are suffering on the roads for their rights. Government is not giving them justice, which is oppression,” his note reads. “To oppress is a sin and to suffer oppression is a sin. Everyone is doing something or the other for the farmers. Some have returned their honours and awards to mark their protest. Daas (servant of God) is giving up his life — as a mark of my voice of protest against the oppression of the government and in support of the hardworking farmers.”
The 65-year-old preacher was also known as Nanaksar Singhra Wale of Karnal. He belonged to Batala, Gurdaspur. Before shifting to Nanaksar Singhran, he served as a preacher at Nanaksar Kaleran at Jagroan.
A video of him talking about the farmers agitation at Singhu border was posted on Facebook Wednesday evening. He had also pledged a donation of Rs 5 lakh to the farmers.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the central government’s three farm laws at Delhi’s borders for over two weeks now. Over 20 farmers have died so far, either at Delhi’s borders or in road accidents on the way to the national capital where the agitation reached on 26 November.
The Delhi Police additional PRO Anil Mittal said the area was not under their jurisdiction, and that it falls under the Sonipat police. The Station House Officer at Kundli Police Station, which is at the border, did not answer calls from ThePrint while the Sonipat Additional Superintendent of Police refused to comment when contacted through phone.
Farmers to decide next course of action, condolences pour in
Farmer leaders that ThePrint spoke to said that they will hold a meeting to discuss the next course of action. “We want the movement to remain peaceful. We will hold internal meetings either tonight or tomorrow morning on the issue,” Jigjit Singh Dalewal, president, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Sidhupur) told ThePrint.
Condolences, meanwhile, poured in for the preacher.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the Modi government while condoling the preacher’s death. “The stubbornness of the Modi government has crossed all limits. Stop being stubborn and repeal the three farm laws,” he 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
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also termed the death a “result of the brutality of the Modi government”.
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
Majinder Singh Sirsa, president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee, posted a video on Twitter condoling the death of the preacher.
संत राम सिंह जी सिंगड़े वाले ने किसानों की व्यथा को देखते हुए आत्महत्या कर ली। इस आंदोलन ने पूरे देश की आत्मा झकझोर कर रख दी है। मेरी वाहेगुरु से अरदास है कि उनकी आत्मा को शांति मिले
— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) December 16, 2020
(With inputs from Chitleen Sethi)