As Gajendra Singh was on Thursday cremated in his Nangal Jhamarwara village in Dausa district of Rajasthan, tearful people raised slogans against the government.
The family of the farmer, whose crops were destroyed by unseasonal rain causing him distress, hit out at the AAP over his death, saying none of its leaders tried to dissuade him during the party's protest against the land ordinance.
Delhi Police on Thursday refused to join the magisterial probe ordered by the city government into the suicide and said it was conducting its own probe on the basis of a first information report (FIR).
Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a statement in the Lok Sabha in response to the concern of members, and termed the incident "shameful" and "very unfortunate". His statement that Delhi Police had taken steps to bring Gajendra Singh down from the tree but could not engage him in conversation as the crowd at the rally continued cheering their leaders was contested by AAP leaders.
The AAP, which blamed Delhi Police for not acting in time to save the farmer, accused Rajnath Singh of making misleading statements. AAP leaders also accused the BJP-led central government of using Delhi Police as "a tool".
The AAP on Thursday announced assistance of Rs.10 lakh for the family of Gajendra Singh and promised to support his children's education. An AAP delegation led by Sanjay Singh is likely to visit the late farmer's village in Dausa district.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha after the home minister, Modi said the entire nation was pained at the suicide and he was joining parliament members in expressing their anguish.
He said the problem of suicide by farmers was "old and widespread" and called for a collective response to end it. "That collective resolve should come out in today's discussion that we will all together not let our farmers' die (commit suicide). This is the prayer I have from the house," Modi said. Rajnath Singh said the government and the opposition must introspect why the condition of farmers had not improved even so many years after independence.
He said that in 1950-51, farmers contributed 55 percent of India's total GDP, which had fallen to 14 percent though 58 percent of the population was still dependent on agriculture. Modi earlier in the day met his ministers over the incident and was briefed by Rajnath Singh. Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi, who faced a volley of questions from the media over the suicide, said a thorough probe will be conducted. With the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi having asked the district magistrate of New Delhi to probe the suicide, Delhi Police wrote to him that they were already conducting a probe.
"We have written a letter saying that he (the district magistrate) has no jurisdiction," Bassi told the media. Bassi, who submitted a report to the home ministry, also said the preliminary medical report based on the autopsy of Gajendra Singh revealed that the cause of his death was hanging. The AAP leadership faced criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party for continuing with the rally even after the farmer was taken to hospital. "It is criminal negligence," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
Congress leader Deepender Hooda asked: "When the incident was taking place, why didn't anybody stop him? Why didn't the police personnel do anything? Why did the leaders present there continue with their speeches?"
Gajendra Singh's uncle Gopal Singh told IANS: "Why did no leader of the Aam Aadmi Party try to dissuade him (from climbing the tree)? We hold police and the AAP leadership responsible for his death." The day also saw protests by Congress workers outside Kejriwal's residence. Congress workers also lit candles at Jantar Mantar.