An Indian farmer hanged himself in front of several hundred protesters gathered in the Indian capital New Delhi on Wednesday 22 April in protest against the government's controversial land purchasing laws.

The incident that occurred close to the parliament was covered on Indian media channels that showed the farmer, Gajendra Singh, from the western state of Rajasthan, sitting on a tree and using his scarf to hang himself as police, protesters and media crew looked on.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the nation is, "deeply shattered and disappointed" over the farmer's death.

Taking to Twitter, Modi said: "At no point must the hardworking farmer think he is alone. We are all together in creating a better tomorrow for the farmers of India."

The father of three was reportedly rushed to the airport but doctors pronounced him dead on arrival, reported AFP News.

Police officials said an investigation has begun to determine how the incident played out.

Political blame game

Meanwhile, police and protest organizers are being heavily criticized for not doing enough to save the farmer sparking a political blame game.

The Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party (AAP) that had staged the rally against PM Modi's controversial land purchasing bill, has also come under fire for continuing with the rally despite the farmer's suicide.

A spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that rules at the national level said: "We want to ask AAP why they didn't stop their speeches when they heard that the farmer had died."

AAP defended the rally saying police was witness to the entire incident but did nothing.

Controversial land acquisition bill

A suicide note, written in Hindi, found with the farmer revealed that he was under stress due to recent crop losses, a by-product of unseasonal rains in Rajasthan.

"I was driven out of my home after my crops were destroyed [by bad weather]. Please tell me how I go home," wrote Singh in the letter, reported BBC News.

Protests have been raging around the Indian capital against PM Modi's bill that makes it easier to purchase farmland for development projects.

While the government has argued the bill is essential to boost the country's economic growth, opponents have argued against the laws saying they are structured to benefit only big businesses at the expense of farmers.

The controversial land acquisition bill was passed in March in the lower house of parliament but is yet to be approved by the upper house.