Bathinda farmer’s suicide: Kin refuse to cremate body, demand arrest of accused patwari
The deceased, Jaswant Singh (70), was from Lehra Bega village of Bhucho sub-division. The compensation amount was due for 22 marlas of land acquired for a grain market, the family said.punjab Updated: May 16, 2017 11:06 IST
Six days after a farmer ended his life and left a suicide note blaming a junior revenue official for harassing him by putting on hold his Rs 34 lakh land acquisition compensation, the deceased’s family and members of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) have refused to cremate the body till the prime accused is arrested.
The deceased, Jaswant Singh (70), was from Lehra Bega village of Bhucho sub-division. The compensation amount was due for 22 marlas of land acquired for a grain market, the family said.
Bathinda senior superintendent of police (SSP) Naveen Singla said the police were looking for the patwari Jagjit Singh, who has been suspended after an FIR was lodged against him and his two accomplices. The police on Monday had arrested the patwari’s accomplice Tirlochan Singh, who worked as his assistant. The third accused, Raj Singh, is also absconding.
A case was registered under Sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 34 (act done by several persons under a common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Bhucho police station.
‘VICTIM MADE ROUNDS OF REVENUE OFFICE FOR A YEAR’
Jaswant Singh was allegedly under stress after he made rounds of the land revenue office at Semma for nearly a year, his son Gurdeep Singh told HT. Gurdeep said his father already had a debt of over Rs 5 lakh which he owed to some private moneylenders.
The family was paying Rs 80,000 to the moneylenders after every six months during the harvest season and was hopeful of getting rid of the debt once they got the compensation amount. “Had we got the compensation amount, we would have paid back the loan. My daughter was slated to get married this month. This added to his frustration,” Gurdeep said.
COPS CORDEN OFF VILLAGE
The police have cordoned off the village where the sit-in by over a 100 BKU (Ugrahan) activists has entered fifth day. The body has been kept in a freezer. The accused revenue official was posted at Sema for 10 years. Some protesters claimed that the accused patwari had either fraudulently mutated their land in others’ names or demanded bribe to get their works done.
Congress MLA Pritam Singh Kotbhai visited the bereaved family two days ago, assuring police action in the case.