Fresh probe into farmer’s suicide

Bhubaneswar: A fresh probe was undertaken today by the district administration into the alleged suicide by a farmer at Bargarh following his widow refusal to accept the government’s contention that it was not due to crop loss or loan burden.

Bargarh Collector Anjan Kumar Manik accompanied by district superintendent of police B Jugalkishore visited the farmer’s house and recorded the statements of his widow and others in the village.

“We have conducted a joint inquiry into the farmer’s death case. We spoke to the farmer’s widow, his daughter-in-law, local people and visited their agricultural field,” Manik told reporters.

The findings would be submitted to the home and agriculture departments and to the special relief commissioner within the next two days.

The fresh probe was undertaken as per a direction by Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy as the farmer’s widow rejected the government report that said he had committed suicide due to family feud and not due to crop loss or loan burden.

The villagers supporting the widow’s contention told the probe team that the farmer had taken a loan of about Rs 19,000 to grow cabbage and paddy on his three and half acres farmland. But the crops were damaged due to paucity of water which caused him mental distress and he committed suicide.

The woman had also said that none from the government had approached her and so it would not know the reason for the suicide.

The farmer had died on February 27 at VSS Medical College Hospital, Burla, while undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress and BJP have demanded judicial probe into suicides by farmers alleging that Odisha government has been presenting false reports on them.