‘Come, let’s sit together and have lunch…’: Died of ‘Bullet Injury’, Shubhkaran Singh’s Last Words to Fellow Farmers

The 22-year-old deceased belonged to Baloh village in Punjab’s Bathinda district and was the only brother of two sisters.
‘Come, let’s sit together and have lunch…’: Died of ‘Bullet Injury’, Shubhkaran Singh’s Last Words to Fellow Farmers

New Delhi/Chandigarh: “Come, let’s sit together and have lunch; we don't know when we will get a chance to gather and have food.” 

These were the last words of 22-year-old Shubhkaran Singh who died on February 21 allegedly after suffering a head injury during clashes between security forces and protesting farmers at Punjab-Haryana Khanauri border.

A stalemate continues between the Central government and the peasants over the latter's demand for a legislation to ensure procurement of all 23 crops under the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) on minimum support price (MSP) across the country.

After the protesting farmers rejected the government’s proposal, assuring MSP for five years on the purchase of maze, pulses and cotton crops, they resumed their ‘Delhi Chalo’ march yesterday under banner of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (non-political) or SKM (non-political), an umbrella body of several farmer unions, including the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ekta Sidhupur) and the Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee.

As the agitating peasants — who have been prevented at Punjab-Haryana Shambhu and Khanauri borders since February 13 from moving ahead — began to move ahead, the Haryana Police along with paramilitary forces resorted to massive tear gassing and rubber bullet firing at the two entry points of Haryana. 

In the clashes, Shubhkaran was allegedly hit by a bullet in his head. He was declared brought-dead at the Government Medical College and Rajendra Hospital in Patiala. 

‘Come, let’s sit together and have lunch…’: Died of ‘Bullet Injury’, Shubhkaran Singh’s Last Words to Fellow Farmers
Farmers’ Protest: Heavy Shelling at Shambhu, Kanauri,1 killed; All That is Happening at Punjab-Haryana Border

Who is Shubhkaran, and why did he feel the need to participate in the farmers’ movement at the age of just 22?

A resident of Bathinda’s Baloh village, Shubhkaran had joined the BKU (Ekta Sidhupur) during the 13-month farmers’ movement of 2020-21. He was part of the ongoing protest, which began from February 13.

Like other fellow farmers, he too was attempting to march towards the national capital when he succumbed to injuries at Khanauri border in the afternoon.

According to farmer leaders, he cooked food for the day along with others and  called all his fellow peasants to have a meal together. “Come and have food together; who knows when he will sit or have food together again,” while talking to The Mooknayak, they quoted the deceased as saying.

The victim was the only brother of two sisters. He has left behind his father and grandmother. His elder sister is married. His father Charanjit Singh is a school van driver and mother has already died. 

Apart from farming on his 3.5 acres of land, the young man was also involved in animal husbandry.

“He was brought dead here at around 3 pm. He suffered bullet injuries in his head,” Rajendra Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Harnam Singh told The Mooknayak.

When asked to give details about the injury and the nature of the bullet that caused his death, he said it can be ascertained only after the post-mortem.

However, the Haryana Police denied having any information regarding the death. “According to the information received so far, no farmer has died today at the farmers’ protest. This is just a rumour,” it said in a tweet. 

The cops, however, admitted to have information about two policemen and one protestor being injured at Data Singh-Khanauri border who are undergoing treatment.

The hospital administration too corroborated the same. “Three persons were brought to the hospital. One of them was already dead,” said a senior doctor of the hospital who refused to be named.

However, the police are still not acknowledging their action resulted in death — continuing to call it a “rumour”.

In another tweet, the Haryana Police claimed that protesting farmers “sprayed chilli powder in the stubble and set it on fire”. “At least, 12 police personnel were injured in the process,” the tweet said.

‘Strict Action Would be Taken Against Haryana Cops’

Reacting to the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said strict action will be taken against those who are found responsible.

“I can’t bring Shubhkaran back, but I can assure and guarantee that I will continue to stand with his family both financially and socially. Following a post mortem, an FIR will be lodged and an inquiry will be conducted. We will take strict action against whosoever from the Haryana Police is found guilty,” he said in a video message while expressing condolences to the victim’s family.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the former constituent of the Centre’s National Democratic Alliance government headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), questioned Mann and said his “conspiratorial double game” is responsible for the loss of this young life. 

“The police of another state are allowed to assault and kill Punjabis on Punjab soil, with Bhagwant Mann collaborating with Haryana against Punjab farmers. Peaceful protest being met with bullets unheard of in a democracy. The innocent blood of Shubhkaran Singh is on Bhagwant Mann’s hands,” SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal wrote on microblogging website X (formerly Twitter).

Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh Brar said, “At the Khanauri border the Narendra Modi government machinery has taken the life of 21-year-old Shubhakram Singh. The government is so alarmed by the farmers' struggle that bullets are being used to stop the farmers.”

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