According to latest reports, Delhi Police investigation into the alleged suicide of farmer Gajendra Singh, hints that the tragedy could have been the result of an accident. A week after the farmer jumped to his death from a tree, CNN-IBN in a report said that three eye witnesses who spoke to the Delhi Crime Branch claimed that the crowd had instigated Gajendra Singh to climb the tree.
The Delhi Crime Branch is currently verifying the veracity of the claims made by the witnesses and the police is scanning CCTV footage to ascertain the events leading to the death of the farmer.
The death of the farmer Gajendra Singh during an AAP rally at Janata Parivar had set off a political furore. His death sparked a blame game inside and outside Parliament on the plight of farmers in distress. But in recent days, a number of questions have emerged that challenge the suicide prognosis.
As Senior Editor of Firstpost, Sandipan Sharma argues in this article, Gajendra’s family has 17 bigha of inherited land and he made a living helping his father manage the land.
“When there was nothing to do in the village, he would tie colorful Rajasthani turbans at hotels. Going by their pucca house and the paved road that leads to it, Gajendra seemed to have done well juggling farming and his small enterprise.”
Apart from this, Sandipan Sharma also notes in his article that for a person who loved publicity as much as he did, it was unlikely that Gajendra would commit suicide.
On 22 April (the day of the incident), Gajendra’s sister was surprised to get a call from him at around 1.30 pm. He told her to keep the TV on because he would soon appear on TV.
“There was a wedding in the family; his cousin was getting married. So, Gajendra told his sister that he would return after appearing on TV,” says his friend Surendra Singh.
“He didn’t mention suicide. There was no indication that he had any financial worries. Nobody ever saw him with a gamcha (towel). His death doesn’t make sense,” the article quoted another family member as saying.
“People have raised doubts about farmer Gajendra Singh’s suicide. His family wants an inquiry. So the Government of India will think about the next step after receiving the preliminary report of the Delhi Police inquiry. Nobody should politicise it, because if you try to do that, it will boomerang,” Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told PTI.
Times Now reported that a few AAP leaders were named in the initial FIR for abetting suicide, although the report did not mention names of any of these “AAP leaders.” And if this indeed was an accidental death, it is unlikely that AAP leaders would be guilty of abettment. But if it was a ‘drama’ played out for the televisions, and there is evidence of the involvement of AAP party workers in staging the same, even an accidental death will spell bad news for the party.
The RSS had even alleged that Gajendra Singh’s suicide was a “drama” enacted by AAP which turned out to be a “tragedy”, and advised the party to take right lessons from the incident.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also issued an apology since the incident happened on his watch but it was rejected by the family of the deceased.
“I am guilty. Blame me. I feel the rally should have been called off. But please focus on the real issue of the farmers and desist from politicking. Whoever is guilty hang him but the focus of the debate should be on why the farmers are committing suicide,” Kejriwal had told a news channel.
AAP is already under fire for their poor handling of Gajendra Singh’s death. Any hint of involvement or incitement would spell serious political trouble for a party and a leader known for a penchant for dramatics.