Meet Gajendra Singh – the “farmer” who committed “suicide”

Yesterday, we had argued that there were many serious questions surrounding the death of a person at AAP’s kisaan rally at Jantar Mantar. While many are still unanswered, some mysteries are now being unravelled, and unfortunately, the truth is quite different from what was believed to be the truth.

The “suicide” and the “suicide note” were already under a cloud. Now it appears that the note was not written by Gajendra. This report quotes family members of Gajendra claiming that the handwriting in the note was nowhere near to the handwriting of Gajendra.

From all pictures, Gajendra did not look like a depressed, suicidal farmer. He was brandishing a party symbol, allegedly threatening suicide for quite some time, which made many people believe it was a show. His “suicide note”, which now turns out to be not written by him, also did not mention any plans to commit suicide.

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We already pointed out that as per a report in IBN Khabar, Gajendra was not a farmer but a small trader selling traditional headgears. Reportedly, he had a website called “jaipurisaffe.com” which showed him tying turbans to all his elite customers. His customers include Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, and a few foreigners too.

This report suggests he had a knack for tying turbans, and did brisk business in Jaipur hotels. The report further says, “Locals say he charged Rs 500 for tying a safa and, in peak tourist season, tied scores of safas a day. He was active on Facebook and got several contracts through networking on the site.”

The report further said, while tying turbans was his primary source of income, he also spent time on his father’s fields. Between his father and uncle, Gopal Singh, a sprawling 50 bighas of land was shared. His two younger brothers had steady jobs.

A Hindustan Times report claims that Gajendra Singh himself “owned some 10 acres of land, including a gooseberry orchard and a teak plantation”. It also said he had “a patch of wheat field”.

All the above suggests, Gajendra Singh was primarily a trader, a part-time farmer, and a pretty affluent one at that. An Indian Express report says Gajendra’s house was a spacious six-room concrete building amidst vast stretches of farmland with tall teak and amla trees, all planted by him.

Coming to the crop damage part as mentioned by Gajendra in the mysterious “suicide note”, farmers in the village claimed that 50 per cent of their crops were destroyed. But the local administration maintained that crop-damage assessment reports submitted by the patwaris in the area had reported only 20-25 percent crop loss — below the compensation criterion. This was said to have “affected” Gajendra who would often promise villagers that he would fight their battle. Neighbours though said that his family was financially sound and rumours of him being in money-trouble could be false.

Gajendra’s uncle is the sitting Sarpanch of his village. And Gajendra too was a Sarpanch earlier and had political ambitions and had been with BJP, Congress, and Samajwadi Party earlier. News reports also said that that he wanted to contest elections and had recently warmed up to Aam Aadmi Party. This news report claims he tried fighting elections on a Samajwadi party ticket, twice, in 2008 and 2013, but failed both the times.

As to why he came to Delhi, Amit Singh Kalyanwat, Gajendra’s nephew has said, “He left the village 3-4 days back saying he was going to try to meet Kejriwal. He said he would stay in Delhi with his brother who is a constable of RAC there.” This seems to be corroborated by his cousin’s statement to ANI News:

From all of the above, a reasonable conclusion could be Gajendra was a part-time farmer at best, relying mainly on his turban trade. Given this, he could have been financially sound. This is apparent from his house in his village. His family too was well-to-do, owning 50 bigha land, with fully employed brothers, and a Sarpanch Uncle. All this again negates the assertion that he was having money problems.

His crop might have been damaged due to unseasonal rains, but due to comparatively low damage and due to Government rules, his entire village was not eligible for compensation. Although this may not have affected Gajendra, he vowed to fight his villagers’ battle.

His various political exploits are also to be noted. He was an ex-sarpanch, tried contesting on a Samajwadi Party ticket twice, had connections with BJP leaders (at least to the extent of tying turbans) and now had espoused the causes of AAP. He told people he was trying to meet Kejriwal, and he is alleged to have met Manish Sisodia before the unfortunate accident.

He was a captivating orator, and even at the AAP Kisan rally, was probably trying to present a dramatic performance to highlight the plight of farmers suffering from crop damage. The “suicide note” could be a speech, written by someone else as the handwriting is not his, which he would have delivered from the stage.

The possibility of the note being a speech that he could have delivered from stage is backed by this NDTV report, where Gajendra is reported to have called up his younger brother Vijendra Singh on his cellphone to say that he would be on TV.

This could have been also done with the intention to become a larger leader in AAP, since he was seen brandishing the Jhadu. Also, it has to be said, alleging involvement of any senior AAP leader in this too far fetched at this stage.

Considering all this, why Gajendra “committed suicide” and who wrote that “suicide note” is a huge mystery. Was it a stunt gone wrong? Did he accidentally kill himself while trying something dramatic? Or is there a bigger conspiracy where Gajendra was used as a pawn? These questions are very controversial and only a detailed probe could possibly reveal the same.

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