post news network
Bargarh/Bheden, Dec 1: Yet another farmer of Bargarh district ended his life Thursday, reportedly distressed by crop failure and mounting debt. According to reports, 38-year-old Debananda Thapa alias Taichun (son of Kangalu Thapa of Limtikra village in Kubedega panchayat under Bheden block) was found lying unconscious in a paddy yard Thursday afternoon; he had consumed pesticide and was rushed to the district headquarters hospital, where he succumbed later in the day.
Sheshadev, the younger brother of Debananda, said his brother’s fields had been infested by the brown planthopper, or ‘chokoda’. Debananda had raised paddy on three acres of which two-and-half-acres were being cultivated on sharecropping basis. He had availed a loan of Rs70,000 to meet the agricultural expenses. However, he had left the crop to rot as it was destroyed by the pest, Sheshadev said.
Bheden police inspector in-charge Yashmin Guria visited the farmland with revenue officials and started an investigation. Police have also registered a case of unnatural death.
Following the incident, several BJP and Congress workers demanded that the government should recognise the incident as one related to farmers’ suicide due to crop loss and sought Rs10 lakh compensation for the kin of the deceased and a government job for a member of the family.
Sub-collector Biswajit Mohapatra held talks with the agitators and assured them all assistance as available under government guidelines, including a pucca house under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana and a job for a family member at the panchayat office. The agitation was dropped after the administration handed over Rs10,000 to the family from Red Cross Fund and Rs2,000 under Harishchandra Yojana to perform last rites of the farmer.
Meanwhile, another farmer, Ashok Pradhan of Handisankri village under Bhatli police limits in the same district, attempted suicide and was admitted to the district headquarters hospital.His condition was reported to be critical. His family claimed debt from crop losses had prompted Pradhan to take the extreme step.