Stressed by debt and health problems, a 38-year-old farmer-turned-preacher from Halotali village in Sirhind jumped to death before a train near the local railway station on Friday night, police said on Saturday.
Sukhvir Singh, who could not repay a five-year-old loan with his agricultural income, had started working as a ‘paathi’ (preacher) at Gurdwara Kalgidhar Sahib at Khedi Naudh Singh village near here some months ago, it is learnt.
The Government Railway Police (GRP) said a suicide note was found on him that said he was taking the step because of the loan and ill-health. He also wrote to his daughter, ‘I love you Babbu’, the police said. Sukhvir’s body was handed over to his family after conducting post-mortem at the Fatehgarh Sahib civil hospital.
His father-in-law Nirmal Singh said he had got married in 2003 and the couple had a 10-year-old daughter, Babbu. Sukhvir’s elder brother Amarjit Singh said he had taken a loan of Rs 3.6 lakh from the state-run Punjab State Federation of Cooperative House Building societies, or Housefed, around five years ago but failed to pay it.
“Now, he was supposed to pay back Rs 8 lakh after repeatedly failing to pay installments,” Amarjit said. “He got several notices to repay the loan. Then they sent a notice to decree the land against which the loan was taken. So my brother started working as a ‘paathi’,” added Amarjit.