A farmer committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh allegedly due to non-procurement of his sugarcane produce amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, according to his family.
The suicide triggered a protest by farmers on Friday who demanded that a case be registered against sugar mill officials for failure to procure sugarcane from farmers.
The angry farmers staged a road blockade and refused to cremate the body till their demands were met.
Ompal Singh, a resident of Sisoli village in the Bhorakala police station area, had left home for his fields on Thursday and later in the day, his body was found hanged from a tree.
His family told the police that he had been depressed over inability to sell his sugarcane produce due to the lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus.
Authorities, however, denied the claim that he committed suicide due to non-procurement of his sugarcane produce.
District Magistrate Selvakumari J said preliminary investigations revealed that the farmer killed himself due to a family dispute over land.
The district magistrate asserted that there had been no stoppage in the procurement of sugarcane by mills.
As the protest by farmers continued, leaders of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, including its national secretary Rajpal Balyan and former Uttar Pradesh minister Yograj Singh, joined them.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Naresh Tikait said that farmers have been facing great financial problems and not getting proper cost of their produce due to the lockdown.
Tikait demanded complete waiver of electricity bill and other dues of farmers.