As fourth farmer dies at Punjab-Haryana border, stir over Shubhkaran death continues

A farmer leader claimed Darshan Singh suffered a heart attack at Khanauri, becoming the fourth farmer to die during the 'Delhi Chalo' protests

Farmers protest at Punjab-Haryana borders (photo: @Politics_2022_/X)
Farmers protest at Punjab-Haryana borders (photo: @Politics_2022_/X)


A 62-year-old farmer who was part of the 'Delhi Chalo' agitation has died of an alleged heart attack in Khanauri on the Punjab-Haryana border, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher claimed on Friday. Darshan Singh was a native of Amargarh village in Bathinda district, Pandher said.

A 72-year-old farmer, part of the same agitation, had earlier died of a cardiac arrest, while a 63-year-old farmer also died of a heart attack at the Shambhu border.

On Wednesday, 21-year-old Shubhkaran Singh, a native of Bathinda, was killed in clashes between Haryana Police and the farmers. The incident occurred when some protesting farmers rushed toward the barricades at Khanauri. The police said 12 of its personnel were also injured in the clash.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political) and Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) are spearheading a farmers' agitation at the Shambhu and Khanauri border points of Punjab and Haryana over various demands, including a law that guarantees MSP (minimum support price) for crops.

Meanwhile, farmer leaders participating in the agitation said Shubhkaran's cremation would not be held until the Punjab government registered a case against those responsible for it. The development came hours after Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore and a government job for Shubhkaran's sister.

According to the medical superintendent of Rajindra Hospital in Patiala, Subhkaran had an injury to his head. The post-mortem was delayed as the farmers pressed for acceptance of their demands.

Speaking to reporters in Patiala, Pandher said the Punjab CM had promised stringent action against those responsible for Shubhkaran's death, but officials were now saying it would not be possible.

In the wake of the death, farmer leaders on Wednesday put the 'Delhi Chalo' march on hold for two days, saying they would decide their next course of action on Friday evening.

Thousands of farmers remain camped at Khanauri and Shambhu with their tractor-trolleys and trucks still blocking the roads. Besides a law on MSP, Punjab farmers are demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

Reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act 2013, and compensation to families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21, are also among their demands.

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