Unable to bear ‘farmers’ plight’, Sikh cleric shoots himself dead

A handwritten note in Punjabi, purportedly left behind by the deceased, says he was unable to bear the "pain of farmers".

Chandigarh: A Sikh preacher supporting the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s agriculture laws allegedly committed suicide near the Singhu border in Delhi on Wednesday, police said.

A handwritten note in Punjabi, purportedly left behind by the deceased, says he was unable to bear the “pain of farmers”.

The note is being verified by police.

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An official of the Sonipat police said they had received a call that Sant Ram Singh (65), who hailed from Singhra village in Nissing area of Karnal district, allegedly shot himself.

He was rushed to a hospital in Panipat where doctors declared him brought dead.

Police said as per preliminary reports, the cleric shot himself in his car near the protest site. Police are in the process of recording statements of the deceased’s family members.

The body was taken to Karnal for a postmortem examination in an ambulance. His followers raised slogans against the Union government.

Later, the body will later be taken to the Nanaksar Gurdwara in Singhra village, where a large number of his followers have gathered.

Karnal SP Ganga Ram Punia told PTI that police have been deployed in the area.

The situation is peaceful and under control, he said.

Reacting to the incident, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Modi government should quit its “stubbornness” and withdraw the laws.

“Sant Baba Ram Singh Ji of Karnal committed suicide after seeing the plight of farmers on the Kundli border. My condolences and tribute in this hour of grief. Many farmers have sacrificed their lives. The brutality of the Modi government has crossed all limits. Quit stubbornness and immediately withdraw the anti-agricultural law,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also blamed the government for the incident.

Modi ji, amid winter chill, stop playing with sentiments of farmers, Surjewala tweeted.

Why is PM Modi so arrogant? Why is the BJP so obstinate? Why are they treating the farmers in such an insensitive fashion? In the last 20 days, 16 farmers have died. Lakhs of farmers are sitting at Delhi borders. Yet, this government fails to listen to their grievances, he said in another tweet.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal too said he was anguished to hear that the cleric committed suicide.

Sant ji’s sacrifice won’t be allowed to go in vain. I urge GOI not to let the situation deteriorate any further & repeal the 3 agri laws, he said.

SAD spokesperson and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee president Manjinder Singh Sirsa urged farmers to exercise restraint.

A very sad news has been received that Sant Ram Singh, who dedicated his life to the service of humanity, committed suicide by shooting himself, he said on his Twitter handle.

According to Sirsa, the victim wrote in his suicide note that he was unable to to bear the “pain of the farmers”.

It is a sin to suffer atrocity and witness it, which I cannot see, Sirsa said the cleric wrote in his suicide note.

Sirsa appealed to farmers to exercise restraint.

It is a very grave time. I request you as the chief sewadar of the DSGMC to exercise restraint because anybody can do mischief in the farmers’ agitation. It is a very sad incident for all of us but we need to be restrained, said Sirsa.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and other states have been protesting near the Delhi borders for the past three weeks, demanding that the Centre’s farm laws be repealed.

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