Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Farmer commits suicide at AAP rally in Jantar Mantar; CM Arvind Kejriwal blames police, Home Minister orders probe - Dipankar Ghose - The Indian Express

Farmer commits suicide at AAP rally in Jantar Mantar; CM Arvind Kejriwal blames police, Home Minister orders probe

farmer suicide, farmer hangs himself, farmer death, AAP rally, Arvind Kejriwal, Rajnath Singh, Rahul Gandhi
A photo showing Gajender Singh (extreme left) on a tree at the AAP rally at Jantar Mantar (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)
Written by Dipankar Ghose | Updated: April 22, 2015 4:47 pm
A farmer who hanged himself at an AAP rally on Wednesday to protest against the government’s land bill is dead, doctors said.
Doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital said that the farmer, identified as Gajender Singh of Rajasthan, was brought dead from the site of the rally where he hanged himself from a tree.
The incident occurred at around 2 pm in the presence of Kejriwal prompting senior AAP leaders to allege that it was an attempt to “sabotage” the rally and slammed the police for being “mute spectators”.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed grief over the incident and directed a probe into the suicide.
Kejriwal said, “We kept asking the police to bring him down. Police may not be in our control but at least there should be a semblance of humanity among them. I am rushing to the hospital with Manish Sisodia”.
AAP leader Somnath Bharti, meanwhile, claimed a conspiracy behind the farmer’s suicide.

There was absolute pandemonium at the Aam Aadmi Party’s Kisan rally after the farmer attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself from a tree during the rally. The man was first noticed when he began climbing the tree at around 1:30 pm. Most people at the time thought that the man only wanted to get a better view of the dais, with the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal having arrived only a few moments earlier.
The man, however, proceeded to use a white cloth he was carrying to tie around his neck, and hung himself, with both his arms wrapped around the tree. By this time, however, many police personnel surrounded the tree, but stood in a semi-circle, and did not attempt to bring the man down.
Kumar Vishwas, who had taken to the mike as events unfolded, first exhorted the man to come down. As the situation became increasingly serious, Vishwas then said that the man could meet Arvind Kejriwal if that’s what he wanted, but asked him not to do anything dangerous. As Vishwas realised that the man was not motionless hanging from the tree, an irate Vishwas said, “Police vaha khadi hai. Aap apna kaam kyu nahi kar rahe (Police is standing there. Why are you not doing your work?).”
Indeed, as the police stood motionless for close to ten minutes, five civilians, one wearing an Aam Aadmi Party cap, went up to the tree, and tried to drag the man down. They succeeded in bringing him down to a point, but then had to drop him down to the ground. He was then rushed to a hospital. Some even said that as he was up on the tree, the man threw down a note, but this could not be independently confirmed.
The crowd grew increasingly irate at the police’s inaction, which then resulted in small skirmishes, and pushing and shoving between the police and the crowd.
The rally then resumed once the body was taken away, but Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia then said that he and Kejriwal would possibly go to the hospital.
There are unconfirmed reports that the man was a farmer from Dausa.
The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday threatened to widen its stir against the Centre if it goes ahead with the contentious land bill as party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a rally in New Delhi against the legislation.
(With inputs from PTI)
First Published on: April 22, 20152:31 pm

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