Barnala suicide: Family to get Rs 6 lakh compensation; moneylender held

  • BB Goyal, Hindustan Times, Barnala
  • Updated: Apr 28, 2016 16:03 IST
Congress and farmer union leaders sitting on a dharna outside the civil hospital in Barnala on Wednesday, demanding the arrest of those responsible for the double suicide. (HT Photo)

The local civil hospital became a dharna site on Wednesday with the bodies of Jodhpur village farmer and his mother, who had committed suicide on Tuesday, lying there in the mortuary for post-mortem.

Unable to repay the loan, the two had committed suicide when a commission agent, with the help of police and revenue officials, was trying to take possession of their land.

Barnala suicides: Capt for law against dispossessing debt-ridden farmers

Farmer unions did not allow the post-mortem to press for their demand of arrest of the five accused--the moneylender and his accomplices.

However, later, following announcement of compensation and a job for the victim’s family, the protesters ended their dharna and the bodies were cremated in the village.

Farmer Baljit Singh Ballu and mother Balbir Kaur had ended their lives at Jodhpur village on Tuesday by consuming pesticide.

Congress leaders Charanjit Singh Channi, Harchand Kaur Ghanauri, Karan Kaur Brar, Mohammad Sadiq, Sunil Jakhar and Surinder Pal Sibia tried to address the dharna, but the leaders of farmers outfits did not allow them to address it.

Talking to media, leader of opposition in Vidhan Sabha, Channi said, “This is clearly a case of heinous murder, which happened in broad daylight in the presence of district officials and police.”

Abohar MLA Jakhar said, “The incident took place in the presence of government machinery. About 150 police personnel reached there for taking possession of the two-acre land. The government is trying to suppress the voice of poor farmers.”

Deputy commissioner Bhupinder Singh Rai said, “The family will be paid Rs 6 lakh in compensation as per the state government policy. Besides, local industrialist Rajinder Gupta has also announced Rs 4 lakh for the family.”

“For employment on compassionate grounds to a member of the victim’s family, we will recommend the case to the state government,” said Rai.

Senior superintendent of police Gurpreet Singh Toor said, “We have already arrested the three accused. Our search to nab the remaining two is on.”

Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakonda) leader Buta Singh Burjgill said the administration had acceded to all their demands.

“The moneylender has been arrested. The farmers, who have sold their produce through this commission agent, will get timely payment, this has been assured to us by the deputy commissioner,” Burjgill said.

Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said, “It is strange that two people ended their lives and others stood there as mute spectators.”

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