Bargarh Collector clarifies on farmer’s suicide probe

Bargarh: After Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy passed the blame for giving false statements on suicidal death of Khainu Bagarti alias Hadu, a farmer from Bargarh district, on the shoulders of Bargarh District Collector Anjan Kumar Manik, the latter also followed on the foot steps of the minister.

“It is not necessary for the Collector to personally visit the spot for inquiry but presents report on basis of findings of the field officer,” briefed Manik to media persons.

“In this case the report was given on basis of the joint inquiry done by the Tehsildar and Assistant Agriculture Officer,” he added.

After Hadu’s family had proved the statements of the minister to be false, Maharthy had passed the blame on Manik by saying, “I have only made statement as per the report of Bargarh Collector.”

Talking to media persons, earlier in the day, Hadu’s wife, Kala Bagarti had said, “No one had visited our home, we do not know of anyone visiting us, they are telling lies, we have never quarrelled.”

A neighbour of Hadu, identified as Kusa had criticised the minister’s statements saying, “It is a shameful statement towards the farmers of this locality. A family was married for the last 35 years without any quarrel and now when a farmer has died, the leaders do not have any compassion in their heart.”

Earlier in the day BJP national secretary Suresh Pujari had also targeted Maharathy for presenting false report in the Assembly. Speaking to a press meet, Pujari said that it is unfortunate that Agriculture minister presented a false data in the House even without conducting a probe.

“Attributing Khainu Bagarty’s suicide to domestic quarrel by the Agriculture Minister is untruth, unfortunate, distasteful & also disgraceful,” he said. “Had it been the reason of suicide, all the husbands would have been dead by now”, Pujari mentioned in his twitter page.

He alleged the minister did not send a single official to the village of dead farmer for an inquiry. “Not a single government official, be it the ‘Top’or the ‘Bottom’ in Bargarh has visited Bargati’s house! How come Agrl Min know the reasons”, he tweeted.

It may be mentioned that Maharathy in a statement in the assembly, over the death of Hadu, earlier on Saturday had proclaimed that family dispute was the reason behind the suicide of the latter and it was not due to crop loss or the burden of loan.

“An inquiry into the suicide of Khainu Bagarti alias Hadu (the farmer), revealed that his death was not due to crop loss or debt burden. It (suicide) may have taken place due to a quarrel with his wife,” Maharathy had said in a statement in the assembly as per the direction of Speaker Niranjan Pujari.

He said, Bagarti (55) of Kendapalli village under Bargarh tehsil, had three acres of cultivable land at Jhankarpalli village, while another 1.74 acres was in the name of his wife. He grew paddy in two acres and in the remaining land vegetables, the minister said.

The minister also had denied the charge of lack of irrigation facilities led to his death.”The inquiry officials found water in all his land. A tube-well had been dug in Bagarti’s agricultural field from which he was getting the required water for irrigation for last five years”, the minister said.