The giant Neem tree, from which Rajasthan farmer Gajendra Singh hung himself during an AAP rally at Jantar Mantar in 2015, was among several trees that fell down during Sunday evening squall. By Monday noon, it had turned into a selfie spot for the visitors to the place.
The massive trunk of the tree snapped in the heavy windstorm. As many as 16 trees were broken during the storm.
On Monday, curious youngsters were seen climbing the broken trunk with their mobile phones and selfie sticks, clicking pictures.
The tree hit the headlines twice over the last two years and was till last year guarded by police personnel to ensure protesters that gather at Jantar Mantar do not hang themselves from it. In April 2015, a farmer from Rajasthan, Gajendra Singh had committed suicide by hanging from this tree during a rally.
Singh’s death triggered massive protests forcing police to register an FIR. A crime branch team was sent to measure the tree’s length and breadth because it was a crime spot. Some groups also placed photographs of gods and goddesses believing the tree to have spiritual powers.
Two years have passed since that afternoon when Singh climbed the tree but the police are yet to solve the case. Many senior AAP leaders were interrogated but there is no breakthrough. We are ‘investigating’ who provoked Singh to take his life atop that tree, an officer claimed.
The tree was in news again recently when a group of Tamil Nadu farmers climbed its branches and threatened to commit suicide. They were stopped and rescued by the police officers. There is an unwritten ban imposed on protesters climbing trees after Singh’s death, said a police officer.
“It is the same tree that some of our farmers had climbed and threatened to commit suicide,” confirmed Prem Kumar, a member of the group of farmers from Tamil Nadu who had grabbed headlines for their bizarre protest methods. They have returned to the city for their second stage of protests.
Till Saturday afternoon, a group of protesters had assembled below the tree but they left on Saturday afternoon.