Farm laws: 70-year-old dies during BJP tractor rally, BKU’s Ambala chief among 7 booked

A 70-year-old farmer, who was part of the BJP’s tractor rally led by Union minister and Ambala MP Rattan Lal Kataria and Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh Saini in Ambala’s Naraingarh in support of the farm laws, died on the way on Wednesday.

The victim’s son, Bhupinder Singh, has lodged an FIR against Bhartiya Kisan Union’s (BKU’s) Ambala unit chief Malkit Singh, and other BKU members – Fakeer Chand, Amarjeet, Jai Singh, Sukhvinder Singh, Jasvinder Singh and Janti – who were among the hundreds of activists who staged a protest against the farm laws during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘Janjagran Tractor Yatra’.

A case has been registered against them under Sections 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 148 (rioting), 149, (unlawful assembly guilty of offence) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code.

The victim, Bharat Singh of Badagarh village, was aboard a tractor that was part of the rally and was allegedly stopped by farmers and activists associated with the BKU.  His son said, “When the rally reached Milan Palace, workers affiliated with the Congress and Gurnam Singh Chaduni group blocked the Ambala Road. The workers attacked our rally with sticks and stones after they were provoked by Malkit Singh .” 

“During the scuffle, my father fainted and fell. When we tried to take him to the hospital, the BKU activists obstructed our path. We were only able to reach a private hospital, which was five minutes away from the site, 30 minutes later. The doctors declared him brought dead and said we had been too late in bringing him to the hospital,” Bhupinder said.

While BJP leaders have condemned the ‘murder’, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leaders have refuted the allegations. Malkit said, “The tractor, on which Bharat Singh was sitting, was far away from the area where the farmers had obstructed the rally. He died of a heart attack. There are several photos and videos that can prove that he died a natural death and there was no protester around him.”

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