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Marginal Dalit farmer commits suicide in UP’s Bulandshahr

Ramkumar killed himself on Sunday by setting himself on fire after his land was absorbed by the Uttar Pradesh government during a consolidation drive.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2017 17:05 IST
S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Meerut
farmer suicide,Uttar Pradesh,Bulandshahr
Over the past few weeks, farmers have been demanding loan waivers as prices of farm produce have crashed across India. (AP file)

A marginal Dalit farmer allegedly immolated himself in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district on Sunday evening after his land was absorbed by the state government during a consolidation drive, officials said on Tuesday.

Officials of the department of consolidation took four out of six bighas of land that Ramkumar owned in Murtajabad Bhatwara during a drive in the village to pool and re-allot fragmented land holdings.

The 53-year-old reportedly paid a bribe to officials after taking a loan from a moneylender to get his land back. Despite his efforts, he could not get his land back and came under pressure from the moneylender to pay back the loan.

Ramkumar killed himself on Sunday by setting himself on fire. He was immediately taken to a hospital in Bulandshahar where doctors declared him dead after examination.

Over the past few weeks, farmers across India have been protesting as prices of farm produce have crashed and they are demanding farm loan waivers. Some states, including Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, have said they will write-off loans of small and marginal farmers.

Punjab is the latest to announce a crop loan waiver. The Amarinder Singh government on Monday approved a loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh for farmers who own up to 5 acres of agriculture land and a flat relief of Rs 2 lakh for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of the loan amount.

Angry villagers jammed the road outside the office of the district magistrate of Bulandshahr on Monday afternoon and also demonstrated with Ramkumar’s body. They were seeking assurance of financial support to the family of the deceased farmer and stern action against those found guilty of his death.

DM Roshan Jacob directed additional district magistrate (E) Arvind Kumar Mishra to investigate the charges and submit a report to her by Tuesday night.

“I have been investigating the case from every possible angle,” Mishra said and claimed that a family feud seems to be the reason behind Ramkumar’s suicide.

He admitted farmers often come with complaints against the consolidation department during the process of consolidation and said that charges levelled against the staff also have been taken into consideration during the investigation.

Mishra is expected to submit his report to the DM by Tuesday night for further action in the case.

First Published: Jun 20, 2017 15:13 IST