Khurda youth’s suicide: Admin hands over Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana work order to wife

Khurda: A day after a man from Nirakarpur Patanasahi in Khurda district allegedly committed suicide having failed to avail benefits under rural housing scheme, the administration today handed over a work order of Rs 1.2 lakh under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana to Basanti, wife of the deceased Laxmidhar Behera.

Alleging severe corruption at the block-level, Laxmidhar had shot a video narrating his plight just before he took the extreme step. In the video that has gone viral on social media, Laxmidhar has accused the block employees of demanding a bribe of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 to sanction a pucca house to him under the government’s rural housing scheme. “From BDO to sarpanch and even ruling-BJD leaders, I had approached everybody. But nobody listened to me. The officials asked me to pay Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. From where I can arrange the money as I work as labourer. Many may have got benefits from CM Naveen Patnaik and BJD, but I have not got any help,” Laxmidhar was seen saying in the video.

Meanwhile, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik today slammed the Odisha government over the suicide of the youth. “What is the reason behind the suicide? Can a poor man like Laxmidhar pay a bribe of Rs 20,000 to avail a house under Indira Awas Yojana? This is a clear example of prevailing PC (percentage commission) culture and how the government is ruling in the State,” said the PCC chief.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, after meeting the family members of the deceased youth yesterday, also targeted the State government and said, “The death of Laxmidhar is a State government- sponsored killing and people are fed up with rampant corruption.”

Condemning the incident, Office of former MP Jay Panda also tweeted, “Uncommon only a decade ago, this is now a regular feature in Odisha. Jay Panda has time & again pointed the flaws in functioning of Government services in Odisha, all thanks to the new coterie which has taken remote control of the state.”

However, after criticism poured in from several sections, Khurda MLA Rajendra Sahu while speaking to media yesterday had said Laxmidhar’s death is a mystery and that he will assist in the investigation in every possible way. “This is intentional. He was forced to drink alcohol and then someone shot the entire video and made it viral. The video was circulating since last four days and it is surprising how he died all of a sudden. There is some mystery behind his death. This is nothing but a conspiracy to malign the image of the State government. I will fully cooperate with the investigation,” said the MLA.