3 farmers attempt self-immolation outside Odisha Assembly
Four days after a couple from Nayagarh district attempted self-immolation outside the Assembly building here, three farmers on Friday made an unsuccessful bid to set themselves on fire in front of the same structure.
The three persons have been identified to be cultivators belonging to Athagarh in Odisha’s Cuttack district, police said.
They were, however, rescued by security personnel present in front of the Assembly, before they lit matchsticks. They had already poured kerosene on themselves, the police said.
The farmers who were whisked away from the spot by the police said that they had attempted the “extreme step” over alleged irregularities in cooperative bank loans.
“Some persons have fraudulently taken loans from the District Cooperative Bank of Athagarh branch in our names.
Though we have not actually availed the loans, the bank forced us to repay the loan amount,” they alleged.
Several farmers in Athagarh on Wednesday had staged a demonstration alleging loan scam in the Cuttack District Central Cooperative Bank.
They had alleged that money to the tune of over Rs 1 crore was misappropriated from the bank accounts of several people in the district.
The incident has brought to the fore the issue of security near the Assembly building.
This was the second such incident in a week when people came near the Assembly gate and attempted self- immolation.
On Tuesday, a couple from Nayagarh had made a similar attempt seeking justice over the alleged kidnapping and murder of their five-year-old daughter.
A senior police officer looking after the security of the Assembly building said, “We cannot stop people from walking on the road in front of the Assembly building.
However, the farmers were rescued due to the alertness of the personnel deployed near the building,” he said.
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