Bargarh: Debt burden and rampant harassment for payback of loan by micro-finance recovery employees allegedly forced a farmer to commit suicide by consuming pesticide at Umrad village under Raisalpadar panchayat and Gaisilet police limits in Bargarh district, Tuesday night. The deceased was identified as Padman Bhue, 34, of the village. The matter came to the fore after his wife Santoshini Bhue lodged a complaint at the Gaisilet police station, Wednesday.
In her complaint, Santoshini alleged that her husband took the extreme step following mental agony and helplessness over loan burden and harassment by the micro-finance firm’s recovery employees over repayment of loan. Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Locals put up the body at Saradhapali Square under Gaisilet block and blocked the Loisingha-Padmapur road demanding arrest of the micro-finance employees responsible for the death, an Indira Awas house for the bereaved family and `5 lakh insurance claims. Officials rushed to the spot and held talks with the agitators but the villagers and the deceased’s kin refused to relent and continued with their road blockade. The road blockade was learnt to be continuing when reports last came by 8pm, Wednesday.
Sources said the deceased farmer Padman had cultivated paddy on three acre of land. He had borrowed from a micro-finance company for his agricultural works, pesticides, and fertilizers. The micro-finance employees visited his house at 4 pm, Tuesday and asked him for immediate repayment of the loan which he had borrowed from their firm to raise his crops.
Sources said they abused him using foul language when he expressed his inability citing unavailability of money and sought some more time from them. His wife who was a witness to all these developments visited her parent’s house at Patrapali village to arrange money. However, when she returned home she found her husband writhing in pain after consuming pesticide to end his life. Family members rescued him in critical condition and rushed him to the Bolangir headquarters hospital where he succumbed during treatment, Tuesday night.