States & UTs

    Farmer death: Shubhkaran's cremation won't happen till Punjab government registers FIR, say farmer leaders

    The Hawk
    February23/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Farmer leaders demand justice for Shubhkaran Singh, killed amid Punjab-Haryana border clashes, refusing cremation until FIR lodged against responsible parties.

    Punjab-Haryana Shambhu border Protest in Patiala

    Chandigarh: Farmer leaders participating in the 'Dilli Chalo' agitation on Friday said the cremation of Shubhkaran Singh, who died amid clashes between Haryana Police and Punjab farmers, will not take place till the Punjab government registers a case against those responsible for it.

    The development came hours after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore and a government job for Shubhkaran's sister.

    Subhkaran Singh, 21, a native of Bathinda, died on Wednesday at Khanauri border point on the Punjab-Haryana border amid clashes between Haryana Police and Punjab farmers. The incident took place when the farmers rushed to the barricades, several layers of which had been erected by Haryana authorities to prevent farmers from proceeding with their march, and clashed with police.

    According to the medical superintendent of Patiala-based Rajindra Hospital, Subhkaran had an injury to his head. The post-mortem was delayed as the farmers pressed for acceptance of their demands.

    Speaking to reporters in Patiala, farmer leader Sarwan Singh Pandher said the Punjab chief minister had asserted that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for Shubhkaran's death.

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    "We have told the (Shubhkaran) family that it may take two days or 10 days. For us money is not important. We are demanding that an FIR be lodged and then cremation will take place," he said and accused Punjab government officials of "pressuring" Shubhkaran's family into agreeing to the cremation.

    Replying to a question, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, leader of SKM (Non-Political) that is spearheading the 'Dilli Chalo' march along with the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM), claimed the senior superintendent of police of Bathinda has said that police could not register a case against Haryana security personnel.

    "If you cannot register a case, then how can you call yourself Punjab de rakhe (Punjab's protector)," Dallewal posed, adding the police officer told them that if they registered a case, then Haryana security personnel would also do so.

    Replying to another question, Dallewal said, "A youth died during our agitation. Our priority is to ensure justice for him. We are concentrating on it. It is up to the Punjab government how soon it will give justice to us."

    Asked about the next course of action on the call for the march to the national capital, Pandher said, "We will hold a meeting and make our stand clear."

    Announcing compensation and a job for Shubhkaran's sister, Punjab CM Mann on Friday said in a post on 'X', "The family of Shubhkaran Singh, who got martyred during the farmer's movement at Khanauri border, will be given financial assistance of Rs 1 crore by the Punjab government and a government job to his younger sister. Due legal action will be taken against culprits."

    Farmers leaders were also demanding "martyr" status for Shubhkaran Singh.

    Mann on Wednesday said he was saddened by the death of the young farmer and asserted that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for it. "After post-mortem, a case will be registered. Those officials responsible for his death will have to face stringent action," he had said.

    The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which spearheaded the 2020-21 farmers' stir, has announced that farmers would observe a 'black day' on Friday to mourn the death and will burn effigies of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, and state home minister Anil Vij.

    It said farmers will take out tractor marches on highways on February 26 and hold an All India All Kisan Mazdoor Mahapanchayat at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi on March 14. The SKM is not part of the 'Dilli Chalo' agitation but has extended support to it.

    The SKM (non-political) and the Kisan Mazdoor Morcha are spearheading the 'Dilli Chalo' march to press the government to accept their demands, including a legal guarantee of MSP for crops and a farm loan waiver.

    They are also demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, pension for farmers and farm labourers, no hike in electricity tariff, withdrawal of police cases and "justice" for the victims of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, reinstatement of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, and compensation to the families of the farmers who died during a previous agitation in 2020-21.

    Farmer leaders on Wednesday put the march on hold for two days after a protester was killed and about 12 police personnel injured in clashes at Khanauri and had also said that they would decide their next course of action on Friday evening.