Farmers Protest: Three more protesting farmers die due to breathing problems; total death toll rises to 10

Two of the deceased were elderly farmers between the age of 75-80, while the third farmer was 40-years-old; farmer unions allege that the tear gas shells thrown by the state police force led to farmers inhaling toxic gas
Image courtesy: IANS

On March 18, three more farmers protesting at the Punjab-Haryana borders as a part of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ died, bringing the death toll since the protest started to a total of ten. Two of the deceased farmers were aged, between the age of 75-80, while the third farmer was 40-years-old. As provided by the report of Hindustan Times, the farmer union leaders have blamed the deaths of the farmers upon the toxic air emanating from tear gas shells fired by the police that the farmers are being forced to inhale on both Shambhu and Khanouri borders. Due to the tear gas shells, the farmers have allegedly been facing breathing issues.

More about the deceased farmers:

Farmer Balkar Singh, aged 76, belonged to the Ajnala block of Amritsar. As per a report of the Times of India, Balkar breathed his last breath on Monday at the Rajpura railway station while waiting for the Shan-e-Punjab Express. As per the report, he was going home due to his ill health. It has been reported that Balkar Singh had expressed his wish to go home for a few days as he was feeling unwell. In the TOI report, Rajpura government railway police (GRP) assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Sukhwant Singh has provided that Balkar Singh was moved to hospital after alert.

Responding to Balkar’s death, Sarvan Singh Pandher of the Kisan-Mazdur Mukti Morcha (KMM) said that “Balkar was part of the Shambhu since it was pitched, and he died waiting to get home to his three sons and a daughter.”

Another elder farmer name Bishan Singh, aged 75, of Khandoor village in Pakhowal block of Ludhiana district, died on the same day as Balkar Singh after suffering from cardiac arrest. As claimed by the farmers leaders Bishan was associated with Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur) farmer union and had stayed at Shambhu border since the beginning of farmers’ “Delhi Chalo” protest.

According to a separate TOI report, other farmers provided had that the deceased was facing breathing problems for the past few days after facing tear gas shells and smoke. He was moved to Rajpura’s govt hospital and declared dead after breathing issues.

Karamjit Singh Pakhowal block general secretary of BKU Ekta Sidhupur stated that “Bishan Singh faced breathing problems in the wee hours of Monday following which he was rushed to government hospital in Rajpura where doctors declared him dead.”

Pakhowal also provided details about the deceased and his family, and stated “He was unmarried. Bishan was the owner of only one acre of agricultural land and was in debt. He is survived by five brothers and their family members. The brother of the deceased has reached the hospital’s mortuary and a decision over his cremation will be taken soon.”

Rajpura senior medical officer Dr Bidhi Chand referred to both the aforementioned deaths and said that “Both Bishan Singh and Balkar Singh were brought dead to the hospital. The causes of their death will be cleared once we do the autopsy by Tuesday. For now, the bodies are in mortuary.”

The third deceased farmer was identified as Tehal Singh, who died at his residence in Mansa district. As per the report of TOI, Tehal Singh belonged to Bhathlan village in Mansa district, and died on early hours of Monday morning. As per the report, only hours prior to his death, the deceased farmer had returned from the Khanauri border protest.



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