Repairman from Punjab on way to Delhi to fix tractors used by protesting farmers dies as car catches fire

New Delhi: Amid the widespread protests by farmers in Delhi against new agricultural laws, a 55-year-old man from Punjab, who had gone to Delhi border to express solidarity with the agitating farmers, died after the car in which he was sleeping caught fire on Saturday night near the Delhi-Haryana border.

A tractor repairman by profession, a middle-aged man identified as Janak Raj, had gone to Delhi to voluntarily fix tractors that were being used by farmers camping near Delhi, to protest against new agricultural laws passed by the Parliament of India recently, a report published by a Delhi-based news organisation NDTV said.

Quoting officials, the report said that after finishing his work late at night near Bahadurgarh (Delhi-Haryana border), Janak Raj went to sleep in the car; the vehicle caught fire and he was burnt alive.

“It was saddening to learn of the death of Janak Raj, a hard worker of the Indian Farmers Union (Ugrahan) who was working as a tractor repairman in the Kisan Andolan, in a fire accident near Bahadurgarh (Delhi-Haryana border). His name will also be immortalized in the history of the peasant movement,” Harsimrat Kaur Badal, former Cabinet Minister of Food Processing and current MP from Bathinda, said in a tweet.

Thousands of farmers are camping in and around Delhi to protest against the three new laws aimed at bringing reforms by doing away with middlemen and improving farmers’ earnings by allowing them to sell produce anywhere in the country. Farmers and opposition parties allege that the laws will deprive the farmers of guaranteed minimum price for their produce and leave them at the mercy of corporates.

The protest, which has seen farmers from six states, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Kerala and Punjab, has entered its fourth day today, the report mentioned.


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