Farmer dies during protest near BJP office
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An 86-year-old farmer from Uttar Pradesh died of a heatstroke on Friday afternoon while protesting outside the BJP headquarters on Ashoka Road.
Katar Singh had come to the Capital with several farmers to protest against acquisition of land by the Madhya Pradesh government "at very low prices".
Singh was a farmer from Bhora Kalan in Muzaffarnagar village.
Singh, a member of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), fainted during the protest, police said, adding that he was moved to a place where there was shade.
Eyewitnesses said Singh died on the spot. Police said two ambulances reached the spot, but the protesters refused to let them remove the body.
"Around one lakh farmers from several states are in the Capital to take part in the protest. Around 1 pm, we left Jantar Mantar to go to the BJP office on Ashoka Road. We were stopped by police near the BJP office. Singh died in the clash that followed. We demand an inquiry into his death," said Naresh Tikait, president of the BKU.
But police maintained that there was no foul play and Singh died of a heatstroke. Police did not register a case and said they will not conduct a post-mortem examination.
Additional Commissioner of Police K C Dwivedi said, "It is a case of natural death. His family members are here and are preparing to take the body home."
The protesters demanded the "release of all farmers arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police". They wanted the Madhya Pradesh government to give them the correct market value for the acquired land. They refused to leave until their demands were met.
Katar's nephew Rajender Singh said, "I have informed my brothers. They are on their way to Delhi. We will not leave until our demands are met."
Another farmer, Ram Prakash, also suffered a heatstroke during the protest. He was rushed to the RML Hospital and discharged after first-aid, police said.
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