Haryana resident set on fire, dies; family alleges accused part of farmers' protest

BAHADURGARH: A 42-year-old man died of burn injuries after four men allegedly sprinkled some inflammable material over him and set him afire here, police said on Thursday.

The deceased’s family has alleged that the four accused are part of the farmers’ protest at Tikri border near Delhi, they said.

However, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said the man died by suicide.

The man has been identified as Mukesh, a resident of Kasra village in Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar district, police said.

According to the complaint lodged by Mukesh’s brother with the police, four men, who are part of the ongoing farmers’ agitation at the Tikri border, allegedly set Mukesh on fire on Wednesday evening, the police said.

The complainant also alleged that the four accused were in an inebriated state at the time of the incident, they said.

Mukesh succumbed to burn injuries in the early hours of Thursday, police said.

Police said investigation in the case is underway.

One of the accused has been identified and he is a resident of Jind in Haryana, they said.

On Thursday, the family members of Mukesh and some villagers held a protest and demanded compensation for his next of kin.

A murder case has been registered against four persons, police said.

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha accused the Haryana government of defaming the ongoing farmers’ agitation and said Mukesh’s was a case of suicide.

“As part of the continuous efforts to defame and slander the ongoing farmers’ movement, an unfortunate case of suicide by a local villager is being used by the BJP/JJP government, its political agents and their troll army to somehow implicate the farmers’ movement,” said the morcha, an umbrella body of various farmers’ bodies spearheading the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s three farm laws.

In a statement here, SKM leaders including Balbir Singh Rajewal and Darshan Pal claimed that Mukesh allegedly poured petrol on him and then set himself on fire.

“As soon as the Kisan morcha volunteers noticed it, they rushed in to douse fire and save his life. They learnt that this attempted suicide was spurred by a conflict in his family,” the SKM said.

An employee from the petrol pump identified Mukesh and informed his family who took him to hospital, it said.

The morcha said It is shocking that the farmers who tried their best to save an unknown person are now being implicated.

It appealed to the Haryana government to carry out a fair investigation in the matter and also assured of its “complete cooperation in bringing the truth of this case to light.”

“We appeal to the public not to be taken in by yet another attempt to slander this historic movement,” the farmers’ leaders said in the statement.