New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Delhi government’s response to a petition against its decision to label Rajasthan farmer Gajendra Singh – who committed suicide at an AAP rally here – as a “martyr” and to seek an end to “glorification” of his death.
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath sought response from the Delhi government by September 2 on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik.
The court earlier asked the city government to submit a copy of the cabinet decision to accord “martyr” status on the Rajasthan farmer who committed suicide on April 22 by hanging himself from a tree at Jantar Mantar during an anti-land bill rally of the Aam Aadmi Party.
He said that an RTI reply revealed that the Delhi government decided to construct a memorial to Singh and other farmers who committed suicide and to provide jobs to their family members.
Kaushik maintained that the AAP government’s action to label Gajendra Singh a “martyr” and name a compensation scheme after him amounted to “abetment of suicide”.
He argued that glorifying such an act of “cowardice” was not justified.
After the suicide of Gajendra Singh, the Delhi government launched a farmers’ compensation scheme in his name – Gajendra Singh Kisan Sahayata Yojana – for Delhi farmers whose crops were destroyed by recent unseasonal rains.
A government job was also offered to one of his family on compassionate grounds.
“This act of the Delhi government is nothing but an effort to glorify, justify, praise, support and consecrate the act of suicide; attempt thereof itself is an offence under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860,” the PIL said.
It sought directions to the AAP government to “restrain it from glorifying, justifying, supporting, propagating and consecrating” the farmer’s suicide.