Baghpat: A couple from Badaut in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district attempted suicide after going live on Facebook and blamed ‘heavy losses in trade due to implementation of GST’ for taking this extreme step, police said.
Rajiv Tomar, a shoe trader in Baghpat is critical but his wife died during treatment.
Devastated by financial loss,this BJP member & wife from Baghpat consumed poison on Facebook live today.
He's struggling for life, wife dead.
"I am not anti-national. Modiji, if you've slightest shame, change yourself…you are no well-wisher of small shopkeepers and farmers." pic.twitter.com/V1Y8hL3Spl
— Ashutosh Bhardwaj (@ashubh) February 8, 2022
The two-minute video has been commented on widely and has drawn reactions from politicians including Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
In the video, Rajiv Tomar tears open a sachet and swallows its contents as his wife tries to stop him. She even tries to make him spit it out before moving out of the frame.
“I think I have the freedom to speak. I will pay the debts I have. Even if I die, I will pay. But I request everyone to please share this video as much as possible. I am not an anti-national but I have faith in the country. But I want to tell Modi-ji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi), you are not a well-wisher of small traders and farmers. Change your policies,” Mr Tomar said, in tears.
He complained that GST (Goods and Services Tax) had hit his business.
Those watching them live on Facebook called the police, who arrived and took them to hospital.
Priyanka Gandhi expressed grief. “Deeply saddened to learn about the suicide attempt of a businessman and his wife in Baghpat and the death of his wife. My condolences to the family members. I pray to God that Shri Rajiv ji recovers soon,” she tweeted.
Speaking to reporters at the Congress manifesto release, Priyanka Gandhi said: “We are seeing this kind of distress among small traders, businesses across UP. Demonetisation, GST and the lockdown have hurt them the most.”
According to reports, Rajiv Tomar, a father of two, had been in financial trouble for some time.