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Odishatv Bureau

Bargarh: A day after torching his pest-affected crops, Brunda Sahu of Kalapani in the district today committed suicide by consuming poison.

Villagers spotted him lying on the field of his cropland in an unconscious state on Wednesday morning and rushed him to district headquarters hospital in a critical condition. However, he died at the hospital while undergoing treatment.

Sahu was under severe stress after failing to control pest attack on his maize crops in his half acre land. In an extreme step of despondency, he had set afire his standing crops on Tuesday to prevent further attack of pest.

Fellow farmers had alleged that the pesticide supplied to them by the government was of substandard quality which led to the damage of crops.

Meanwhile, fellow farmers and villagers blocked NH-53 with the body of Brunda Sahu near Kalapani village demanding adequate compensation to kin of deceased.

Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout sent a team of experts to the area and directed them to report within 48 hours. “Soon after hearing the news, I immediately spoke to the Collector and sent a technical team to examine the crops and submit a report within 48 hours. Death of a person due to any reason is saddening. It will not be right to comment on his death before a thorough investigation,” Rout told reporters while ruling out reports of crop loss in Bargarh district.

“As per the Collector, there is bumper crop in Bargarh this year though farm lands in some areas were affected by pests. I suspect whether the pesticides supplied to the farmers are of good quality. Strict action will be taken if any official is found responsible,” he added.

Meanwhile, a team of officials led by Bargarh tehsildar in-charge rushed to the spot and carry out an on-the-spot inquiry. “We have examined the paddy fields in the area. We observed that some areas have been attacked with pests. We will submit a detailed report to the district administration. A compensation of Rs 10,00 has been given to the deceased farmer from Red Cross and Rs 2000 under Harischandra Yojana for his funeral,” he said.

With the death of Brunda Sahu, Bargarh district witnessed third farmer suicide in a span of seven days.

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