A 50-year-old farmer from a village in Punjab’s Barnala district died, while a 75-year-old farmer was seriously injured, in an accident while on their way to the Tikri border early 24 November night.
The incident took place at the Gohana-Rohtak road in Haryana at 8:40 pm, when a truck hit the men standing near their trolley, said Bhupinder Singh, a 31-year-old farmer who was present there.
The deceased, identified as Baljit Singh, was en route to Tikri protest site to participate in the anniversary of the Kisan Andolan. Balwant Singh, a farmer, who is injured in the accident, is currently recuperating at a hospital.
ASP Gohana Nikita Khattar said that the accused was rounded up at night and an FIR has been filed in the matter. She said, "After the incident, farmers blocked the highway for some time because they had grievances regarding treatment of the injured, and the investigation. Later, that was sorted out."
On 24 November morning, two trolleys comprising 24 farmers left from a village in Barnala to participate in the anniversary celebrations of the farmers’ agitation, which is on 26 November. In the last one year, over 675 protesters have died, as per the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.
Eyewitness Bhupinder told The Quint, “We stopped the two trolleys at a dhaba to drink some tea. Some of us got off the trolleys and went inside the dhaba, while Baljit and Balwant were standing near the trolley. The trolleys were not even on the main road, they were at a dhalaan. Suddenly, a truck came in their direction and hit them.”
Bhupinder claimed that Baljit died on the spot. “We rushed them to a hospital, we called the police too. We have been told that the police have arrested the accused, and an FIR has been filed,” he said. He said that the deceased’s post-mortem was conducted, and his body has been sent back to his village in Barnala.
“We were all looking forward to celebrating the year-long agitation. Baljit had participated in the protest at Tikri border a few times. What has happened is truly tragic,” said Bhupinder.