NEW DELHI — The Delhi police investigation into the death of Gajendra Singh, who committed suicide at the Aam Aadmi Party farmers' rally on Wednesday, has squarely placed a lot of the blame on AAP leaders and party workers, officials with knowledge of the findings said. A report to this effect has been sent to the union home ministry, the officials said, speaking anonymously as they are not authorised to talk to the media.
The probe so far suggests that not only did the party workers instigate Singh and egg him on when it seemed he was likely to commit suicide, they also impeded police reaction following the tragic incident.
AAP workers stopped the local police from sending Singh to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, insisting he was a party worker and should not be sent in a police van, the report says. The probe, which is being conducted by the Crime Branch, revealed that this resulted in considerable delay in bringing Singh to hospital.
Delhi Police will be taking possession of video recordings by various television channels who were in the vicinity.
The investigation so far reveals that Singh was already on the tree by 12.50 pm, while AAP leaders were making speeches. While most of the crowd was clapping loudly, some were staring at Singh.
Local police reportedly tried to reach the spot as Singh held on to a broom. A message was sent through the wireless set to the control room, and cops also appealed to the crowd to stop instigating him and instead bring him safely down.
Yet, according to police, neither AAP leaders on stage or party workers helped them. Post the wireless call, a public appeal was made to clear the area and allow an emergency vehicle (ERV) to enter. But no one in the crowd acceded, and instead set up anti-police chants, accusing them of being anti-AAP and not allowing the protest to continue.
Local police at the spot then made an SOS call to the fire brigade, seeing Singh was about to commit suicide. Even though onlookers saw Singh tying a cloth around their neck, no one from the crowd intervened, according to police, and some AAP workers were even seen encouraging him on by clapping, the officials said.
Singh committed suicide soon after, his body getting stuck to a branch in the process. When some men tried to bring him down, the police asked them not to climb the tree but instead wait for the fire tenders. However, these men did not heed police requests and continued with their efforts. Consequently, Singh's body fell from the tree.
The local police have told Crime Branch that they placed Singh's body in a police vehicle but AAP workers blocked their way claiming that he was a party worker and should be taken to hospital in their vehicle.
AAP leaders have in fact placed the blame on Delhi police, alleging that they refused to act even when Kumar Vishwas appealed from the stage to Singh to come down from the tree.
The police report and any home ministry action on it is bound to turn the tragedy into a bitter political blame game.