The body of a 48-year-old farmer from Hisar, Rajbir Singh, was found hanging from a tree near the Tikri border on Sunday morning.
Police said it appeared that the farmer had committed suicide, and an inquiry was under way. Rajbir is the eighth person to have allegedly killed himself at the borders of the capital, demanding that the three farm laws be repealed.
A suicide note was found in the pocket of Rajbir’s kurta, other farmers protesting at the site said.
Inspector Sunil Kumar, Station House Officer (SHO) of Bahadurgarh City police station, said, “We received information from other farmers regarding the matter. The deceased was found hanging from a tree near the bypass. In a suicide note that was found, he has stated he was taking the extreme step due to frustration regarding the farm laws.”
The deceased belonged to Sisai village in Hisar, and had been living in a tent at the Tikri border, 11 km from the main stage of the protests.
The note found in his pocket read, “To the government, I am begging you to fullfill a dying person’s last wish, which is that the three laws be taken back. Bhagat Singh laid down his life for the country, I am taking my life for my farmer brothers.”
He asked the protesters to ensure that his sacrifice does not go in vain, and said they should leave the site only after the three laws have been repealed, and they have got guaranteed MSP.
Rajbir is survived by his wife and two children. He owned around 2 acres of land, on which he grew rice and wheat.
Rajender Kumar (63), his paternal uncle who reached the protest site on Saturday, said: “We played cards till midnight. Around 5 am, we woke up and found that he was hanging from a tree. He went for the chakka jam in a tractor yesterday.”
Rajender said that since Rajbir was a small farmer, the new laws would have impacted him more severely. “He did not even receive MSP the previous year. He barely used to make any money because all of it would go in transportation, fertilisers, etc. He probably thought that he would now have to suffer for the rest of his life. We have all been pained by the way the government has responded to our protests. But he could not take the pain any longer.”
Other farmers said Rajbir had been at the site since the protest began in November, and would assist in a langar nearby.
Surender Singh (30), who is from the same village, said, “He was very helpful and involved in all activities. Yesterday, he spoke to his family around 8.30 pm. His 25-year-old daughter is studying, and his 18-year-old son is a sportsperson. His wife had been managing his fields while he was away. He used to rear cattle to make some extra money, but this too was on hold since the protests began.”
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