Probe begins into farmer suicide

Jajpur: The Jajpur district administration on Thursday started a probe into the alleged suicide by a farmer earlier this month.

50-year-old Panchanan Dalei of Daanarkul village of Jajpur block in the district had allegedly consumed poison on March 23 allegedly over crop loss. He was found by his family members in a critical condition and admitted to the District Headquarters Hospital.

He was shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack after his condition deteriorated on March 24. He died there on March 28 night.

Angry locals had refused to cremate Dalei’s body and blockaded the Bari-Kuakhia road by keeping it there on Wednesday afternoon demanding compensation to the family and a job to the farmer’s widow. They relented when the district administration promised to help.

The district administration had given Rs 10,000 to the victim’s family from Red Cross fund and Rs 2000 for funeral under Harishchandra Yojana.

District collector Ranjan Kumar Das accompanied by Jajpur sub-collector Narayan Chandra Dhal, deputy director of agriculture Rajib Lochjan Das, Jajpur tehasildar Laxmidhar Mishra and local BDO Harish Chandra Jena visited the village during the day for the inquiry.

During investigation, the farmer’s family and villagers told them that Panchanan had cultivated groundnut on three acres on share cropping basis and had taken around Rs 80,000 loan from three micro finance companies and a SHG. But, as his crops were damaged, he was unable to repay.

His family members claimed that the farmer was under severe stress following pressure from the moneylenders which led to his suicide.

The man was the sole breadwinner of his seven-member family, the collector said.

Das said the finding would be submitted to the government.

The collector said a pucca house under Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana and a widow pension would be provided to the farmer’s family. Arrangement would also be made to provide free education to his three children.