Family members of a Rajasthan farmer who allegedly hanged himself in Delhi said on Thursday that the handwriting on the purported suicide note was not his, giving a new twist to an incident which has turned increasingly political in nature.
Gajendra Singh Kalyanwat , a 43-year-old farmer from Rajasthan, allegedly committed suicide on Wednesday by hanging himself from a tree in full public view at an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rally at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, in the presence of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Singh’s last rites were performed at a hillock near his home in Nangal Jhamarwada, around 120 km from state capital Jaipur, after his body reached his ancestral village on Thursday morning.
His eldest son, 11, lit the pyre in the presence of family member and villagers besides Congress leaders.
One of Singh’s five sisters as well as his aunt claimed that the handwriting on the purported suicide note – which they have seen on television news channels – was not his. They also said Singh, a father of three, had not “betrayed any signs of distress” in the past few days to indicate that he was planning anything drastic.
Video:Gajendra Singh's body brought to Dausa
The purported suicide note left by Singh said he had lost his crop in last month’s untimely rain and hailstorm, though officials here say that crop damage in the Baswa tehsil, where his village is located, was not more than 20-25% which was far less than the damage in many other parts of Rajasthan.
The family resides in a single-storey, pucca house and owns 10 acres of land, including a gooseberry orchard and a teak plantation.
“He was staying us in Jaipur for the past two days. When I called him at around 1.30pm on Wednesday, he said he would be back home by evening to accompany me for furniture shopping,” said Rekha Kanwar, 30, Singh’s fourth sister.
The marriage of the daughter of their eldest sister was fixed for April 27, she added.Rekha said that the handwriting in the "sheet of paper did not resemble anything he ever wrote".
Kusum Kanwar, Singh’s aunt (father’s sister), also echoed Rekha saying the handwriting did not match her brother’s. Kusum is a physical instruction teacher at a girls’ schools in Harsoli near Alwar.
“I don’t think he was capable of suicide,” she added.
Singh, who sported a luxuriant moustache, was also an expert in the art of of tying colourful, Rajasthani turbans on tourists at hotels.
ANI quoted another unnamed family member as saying that the purported suicide note was actually a “speech” he had planned to deliver at the AAP rally.
Singh was described by family members as politically ambitious, having unsuccessfully tried twice – in 2008 and 2013 -- to fight the assembly elections as a Samajwadi Party candidate. Of late he was said to be trying to join the AAP.
Singh’s five sisters – all of whom rushed to his house on hearing about the incident – were numb with shock and pain, especially after one of them pointed out that she had spoken to him barely minutes before he committed suicide.
Inderjit Singh, a doctor at the nearest primary health centre, said Singh’s father and younger brother had to be treated several times since last night for hypertension.
Singh’s other two children – a 12-year-old daughter and another son aged 7 – besides other family-members were also numb trying to comprehend the loss.
On the boundary of the orchard beside the house is a poster written on a flex sheet which says, ‘Hearty welcome’.
Below it is a photograph of a young Gajendra Singh Kalyanwat and his self-styled designation ‘Pradesh sangathan mantri’. And it also has his mobile number.On Thursday morning, the ambulance carrying the body stopped close to the welcome sign. For all those present, the irony was hard to miss.