Farmer dies by suicide in Madhya Pradesh, leaves note addressed to PM Modi
The farmer’s family members have alleged that the power company had seized his flour mill and also his motorbike for the delay in paying the electricity bill.
A farmer allegedly died by suicide at a village in Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region, said police. A five-page note addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recovered on his person, saying his body should be handed over to the government so that his organs could be sold to realise the hefty electricity bill of about Rs 88,000, said police.
The farmer, who died on Wednesday, owned a small flour mill. He is survived by his three daughters and a son.
His family members have alleged that the power company had seized his flour mill and also his motorbike.
The victim’s brother, who is employed in the power distribution company, said, “My brother ended his life due to harassment by the power distribution company. My brother was highly upset and under stress since his flour mill and the motorbike were seized by the power distribution company.”
He said, “My brother was not able to pay the electricity bills as there was no good crop this year. Earlier, there was an average bill of about Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per month but suddenly a bill of about Rs 88,000 was given to him. Without giving any time to pay the bill, the power distribution company officials in Chhatarpur district sent a legal notice to my brother and seized his flour mill and motorbike. A team took away the bike causing harassment and stress to my brother. He wanted some time to pay the bill but the officials refused to listen to his pleas.”
The brother demanded strict action against those “responsible” for the death.
The note reads, “When there are scams by big politicians and businessmen the government employees don’t take any action. If they take a loan they get enough time to repay it or the loan is waived. But, if a poor person takes even a small amount of loan, the government would never ask him as to why he was not able to repay the loan. Instead, he is insulted in public.”
Matguva police station in charge Kamaljeet Singh said, “We have got a note. The deceased’s father and brothers tried to convince him not to get stressed about the power bill. However, when his wife returned from her parents’ house there was an argument between her and the victim over the unpaid bill. Later, he took the drastic step. However, an investigation is going on in the matter.”
Congress MLA and ex-minister Harsh Yadav said, “Farmers and others are at the receiving end of the power distribution companies. Either teams of the power distribution company or its recovery agents are harassing the farmers and others like anything. They seize and take away tractors, trolleys, bikes, etc whatever they get from the houses of the farmers in the name of recovery of power bills. That too when kharif crops were not good because of bad weather this year.”
Despite efforts, the chief engineer and the superintending engineer concerned of the power distribution company couldn’t be reached for their comments.
Collector, Chhatarpur, Sheelendra Singh, said, “The deceased’s father gets pension and he gets the benefit of PM Kisan Kalyan Yojna too. His brother works in the power distribution company. The administration immediately gave ex-gratia of Rs 25,000 to the deceased’s family. An inquiry would be conducted in connection with the incident and action would be taken if anyone is found responsible for the suicide.”