Agriculture

Farmer Dies by Suicide Near Tikri Border, Note Expresses Anxiety Over 'Black Farm Laws'

Karamveer Singh was 52 years old and hailed from a village in Jind, Haryana.

Chandigarh: A farmer from Jind in Haryana who was supporting the agitation against the Centre’s farm laws allegedly died by suicide two kilometres from the Tikri border protest site on Sunday, police said.

The 52-year-old farmer left a note which is being verified, they said.

“The farmer, Karamveer Singh, hailed from a village in Jind,” Bahadurgarh City police station SHO Vijay Kumar said.

His body was found in the morning, he said.

According to the police, the hand-written note purportedly left behind by the deceased said, “Dear farmer brethren, Modi government is giving date after date… No one knows when these black farm laws will be rolled back.”

Over a fortnight ago, another farmer from Haryana had allegedly consumed a poisonous substance at the Tikri border. He died during treatment at a Delhi hospital later.

In December, a lawyer from Punjab had allegedly died by consuming poison a few kilometres away from the protest site at the Tikri border.

Earlier, a Sikh preacher, Sant Ram Singh, had also allegedly ended his life near the Singhu border protest site, claiming that he was “unable to bear the pain of the farmers”.

Thousands of farmers have been protesting since late November 2020 at Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, demanding a rollback of the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporations.

If you know someone – friend or family member – at risk of suicide, please reach out to them. The Suicide Prevention India Foundation maintains a list of telephone numbers they can call to speak in confidence. Icall, a counselling service run by TISS, has maintained a crowdsourced list of therapists across the country. You could also take them to the nearest hospital.