Moneylender at door, distressed Barnala farmer, mother end lives

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bathinda
  • Updated: Apr 27, 2016 15:52 IST

Unable to repay a loan, a farmer and his elderly mother allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday by consuming pesticide at Jodhpur village here when a commission agent, with the help of police and revenue officials, was trying to take possession of his land.

The deceased have been identified as Baljit Singh Ballu, 35, and Balbir Kaur, 62. Police said the farmer’s family had taken a loan from the commission agent by mortgaging two-acre land.

“It’s an old case going on between the two parties. Police and district administration officials had gone to the village to take possession of the land on court’s order,” said superintendent of police (detective) Swarn Singh Khanna.

According to sources, when the commission agent arrived at farmer’s house, the latter asked for some more time to repay the debt. His request, however, was turned down.

Some villagers gathered outside the house and started raising slogans against police and revenue officials following which protesters were detained.

The victim, meanwhile, rushed to the rooftop along with his mother and consumed pesticide. The duo was taken to the civil hospital where Balbir Kaur was declared brought dead. Ballu, who was referred to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, died on the way.

Family members of victims have demanded registration of case against the commission agent.

Buta Singh Burjgill, state president, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Dakonda), said, “Commission agent Teja Singh and his sons arrived at the farmer’s house with a pistol to take possession of latter’s land. While government officials were also present there, they didn’t do anything to help the farmer.”

Another farmer leader Darshan Singh Ugoke said, “The victim’s family had taken loan of Rs 1.8 lakh in 2002 from the commission agent. In 2003, the agent, a retired cop, got some blank papers signed from victim’s father Darshan Singh. The agent then prepared an agreement showing selling of land by Darshan to one of his relatives.”

Police have registered a case against Teja Singh and his sons Jaspreet Singh Jassa and Manpreet Singh Manna under section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian penal code.

State agriculture minister jathedar Tota Singh said he has brought the matter to the notice of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Read also: Two debt-ridden farmers commit suicide in Mansa

Must read: Farmers under Rs 69,000-crore debt, says Punjabi University survey

HT Explainer: With bill, Punjab attempts to pay its debt to farmers

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