The Centre informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that 39 cases were registered against farmers protesting against the three agriculture laws at Delhi’s borders between September and December of 2020.
The Lok Sabha was also informed that one suicide has been reported by the Delhi Police during the protest at the Delhi border.
However, according to the data collected by Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of farm unions, nearly 10 people have taken their own lives at the three borders: Tikri, Ghazipur and Singhu. Some of the deceased have also left notes stating the reason behind their deaths to be the “black laws”.
In a written reply, Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy said that the farmers were tear-gassed and lathi-charged as “large convoys of protesting farmers in tractor trolleys tried to furiously force their way and go past police barricades to enter Delhi to mark their protest against the recently enacted farm laws”.
“They aggressively resorted to rioting, damage to Government property and used criminal force to deter public servants from the discharge of their duty, thereby inflicting injuries to the on-duty police personnel. Moreover, social distancing was not followed by the farmers/protesters and they gathered in large numbers without face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The farmers’ actions left the Delhi Police with no option but to use tear gas, water cannons and mild force to control the crowd,” the Minister said.
The statement pertains to the events of January 26 when farmers’ groups were allowed to take out processions on the outskirts of Delhi. Some groups deviated from the sanctioned route and stormed the Red Fort.
“In so far as the National Capital Territory of Delhi is concerned, Delhi Police has informed that 39 cases have been registered against the farmers protesting the recently passed farm laws between September to December, 2020 at the Delhi border. Delhi Police has also informed that one suicide case has been reported to them during the protest at the Delhi border,” the Minister stated in his reply.
Suicide prevention helpline: Sanjivini, Society for Mental Health. Telephone: 011-4076 9002, Monday-Saturday.