A farmer sitting on a hunger strike demanding payment of dues by sugar mills and against the hike in rural power tariffs died in the Baraut town of Uttar Pradesh.

Udaiveer Singh was protesting under the banner: ‘Kisan Sangharsh Morcha’. The dharna was being held in the Baraut sub division of this district since May 21.

Singh, 60, died on Saturday following which the district administration announced a compensation of Rs 12 lakh to his family, officials said.

The farmer’s death took a political colour with leaders belonging to the SP, RLD and Congress rushing to the dharna site to pay tributes.

Agitated over the death, farmers intensified their protest following which the district administration advised the victim’s family to write to the Chief Minister seeking raising of the compensation amount to Rs 50 lakh, according to officials.

The dharna over the demands of payment by sugar mills and against the hike in power tariffs was still on, officials said.

Earlier in the day, Congress president Rahul Gandhi in a tweet criticised him for ignoring plight of sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh.

Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said that Uttar Pradesh’s sugarcane farmers are thinking, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi piggybacks on all the development projects initiated by the UPA, why does he end-up ignoring them when he passes through their region during his road show.

He further said that it is unfortunate that farmers like Udaiveer Singh who died during a hunger strike demanding sugarcane dues cannot even think how can a PM cross by their area ignoring them.

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(With agency inputs)