New Delhi: A 70-year-old farmer from Punjab’s Dharampura village in Mansa district died of pneumonia on Tuesday after spending over four weeks at Delhi’s Tikri border, said a report. The farmer, Piara Singh, was agitating along with thousands of other farmers against the Centre’s three agri laws. Also Read - Top 5 Headlines of The Day: Trump Impeached For Second Time, Farmers Burn Copies of Agri Laws on Lohri and More
Singh, reportedly went back to his village via train few days ago after he was not feeling well and on reaching Mansa, he was first admitted at a hospital in Sangrur where he died during treatment, said his elder brother Wasaba Singh, who is also a part of the protests. Also Read - Government-Farmers Talks Remain Inconclusive, Next Meeting on January 8
According to an Indian Express report, Singh was a member of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU-Dakaunda) and had joined the farmers’ protests from the very first day on November 26 along with his tractor-trolley during the Delhi Chalo call by the farmers’ unions. In between he went back to his village on December 12 and later returned to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) stage at Tikri border on December 15. His tractor-trolley is still parked at Tikri, the report added. Also Read - Modi Government Calls Farmers For Talks on Dec 30, Hopeful of Amicable Solution to Their Demands
Following his death, the BKU (Dakaunda) has demanded a government job for a family member and Rs 10-lakh compensation from the Centre. Another farmer from his village, Gurtej Singh said Piara Singh’s wife had died about five years ago and he had been living with his four sons. He owned five-and-a-half acres of land.
Stating that Piara Singh is the first from the village to have died because of the protests, Gurtej said, “He was the chief sewadaar at village gurdwara and used to give the wake up call through shrine’s loudspeaker at 4 am. After protests against the laws began, he used to make announcements seeking donations and ration for the protesters. He used to motivate people to join the struggle.”
According to reports, so far over 50 farmers and farm labourers have died due to illness and accidents, with at least two of them dying by suicide ever since the protests against the new three farm laws began mid-September.