Protesting farmers on Thursday deffered their decision to renew the call for march towards Delhi demanding issues like legal guarantee for MSP and waiver of farm waiver, on the grounds that they were “mourning” over death of Shubhkaran Singh who was cremated at his native village of Balloh in Punjab’s Bathinda district.

Tributes poured in at the cremation of Subhkaran who died on February 21 during the farmers protest. The Kisan Mazdoor Morcha (KMM) and the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (non-political) had said the day before that they would decide on resuming Dilli Chalo march, suspended till Thursday, after the cremation. However, on Thursday evening they released a brief statement stating that there was no announcement since farmers and leaders are mourning and paying silent homage to Subhkaran.

Further investigation

Punjab Police on Thursday registered a zero FIR to probe Shubhkaran’s death after which the last rites were conducted. “In the matter of Shubhkaran (Singh), after consulting the legal experts, the Punjab Police has registered a zero FIR. Further investigation will be done as per the law. His family is performing his last rites today. Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann provided compensation of ₹1 crore to the family and a daughter in the family is being given the job of a constable,” Punjab Inspector General of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill stated.

The Haryana Police warned of taking strict action against agitating farmers and did not rule out asking respective embassies and government to cancel their visas and passports. “We have identified those involved in violence coming to Haryana from Punjab in the name of farmers’ protest. We have identified them with CCTV cameras and drone cameras. We will request the ministry and embassy to cancel their visas and passports. Their photos, name and address will be given to the passport office. We are working on cancelling their passports,” said Deputy Suprintendent of Police, Ambala, Joginder Sharma.

FIR Lodged

Earlier in the day, Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Sarwan Singh Pandher stated that “today is the 17th day of the march at the Khanauri and Shambhu borders. We have received the information that an FIR has been lodged under sections 302 and 114 of the IPC (in the death of Shubhkaran Singh). Also today we will take the body of the deceased (Shubhkaran Singh) to the Khanauri Border, and his (Shubhkaran Singh) last rites will be performed at his native village”.

He also criticised the central government for launching military-like resistance against the farmers, which, as per him, showed that their ‘intentions are not good’.

“The centre does not want to give anything to the farmers. The centre wants to cheat the farmers. It wants to bring the farmer leaders together and make them settle the farmer’s movement on some minor settlements regarding our demands,” the farmer leader added.