Prem Singh, 45, a farmer of Danewala village, committed suicide on Monday after consuming pesticide.
Darshan Singh said his younger brother Prem Singh had grown cotton on eight acres, of which he owned four acres and the other four acres he had taken on contract at the rate of Rs 37,000 per acre. But, due to the whitefly attack, the entire crop was damaged.
“He had also grown paddy on four acres, but due to loss of cotton crop, he was under stress. He was under a debt of around Rs 2.5-3 lakh. As he could not come out of the shock of loss of the crop, he committed suicide,” said Singh.
The victim had been married for 20 years, but had no child of his own. He had adopted his brother’s son.
Faulty assessment system irks farmers
The district administration had carried out the assessment of the damaged cotton crops in the district, but it has come under flak as famers in several villages have complained of fake beneficiaries receiving the compensation.
The revenue officials, who had recently distributed compensation to the aggrieved farmers, have been accused of favouring those farmers, who are close to Shiromani Akali Dal leaders.
In Bakshiwala village, Gurtej Singh had sown cotton on three acres of land. His crop had not suffered any damage, but he got a cheque for Rs 5,200 as compensation for the crop loss.
Gurtej Singh said: “I had not suffered any loss, but I accepted the cheque for Rs 5,200. I don’t know how the cheque got issued in my name. But I am ready to give the money to the gurdwara in the village.”
Kewal Singh of the same village got Rs 8,000, whereas Basant Singh, who uprooted his cotton on one acre and Jagtar Singh, whose cotton crop was destroyed on 1.5 acre did not get a single penny.
Magghar Singh, patwari (revenue official) claimed there was some problem in the girdawari report, but cheques were not distributed to people who were wrongly named.