Other States

Government still in denial mode: CPI(M)


After an on-the-spot enquiry of a share cropper’s suicide in Ganjam due to debt burden, the CPI(M) alleged that the government and its officials are trying to suppress this as well as similar cases throughout the State.

A delegation led by CPI(M) State secretary Ali Kishore Patnaik had made enquired into the suicide by Lochan Bhuyan (55) in Purushottampur block of Ganjam district. Lochan had consumed poison on November 12 and had died in MKCG medical college and hospital in Berhampur on November 19. Speaking to newsmen in Berhampur on Sunday, Mr Patnaik and party’s Ganjam district secretary Kailash Sadangi alleged that the Purushottampur tehsildar was trying to suppress the news of suicide. “In a recorded talk with a newsman, the tehsildar first denied any peasant suicide case in his area. Later in the same interview, he said they had enquired into this case and found that the victim was trying to get remarried which may be reason behind his suicide,” said Mr Patnaik.

Moreover, he added, the tehsildar was not ready to accept that Lochan was a share-cropper.

The local residents have held protest demonstrations against the tehsildar. According to Lochan Bhuyan’s family, he was landless and had taken up cultivation on around four acre of land of others, for which he had procured private loans at hefty interest. “How can the tehsildar claim Lochan was not a share-cropper when there is no official mechanism yet in Odisha to document share-croppers,” asked Mr Patnaik.

The CPI(M) leaders were also critical of the government official for trying to degrade the dead man, who had lost his wife two months and has a bed-ridden son by claiming that he committed suicide because he wanted to marry again. They added that the government officials were pressing upon the family to stop claiming that his suicide was due to crop loss and debt burden.

The Odisha unit of the CPI(M) demanded that the State government accepts suicides of peasants due to crop loss and debt burden as a reality and provide Rs. 10 lakh to their families like in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

The party also wanted recognition of share-croppers in Odisha on the lines of Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura. Their other demand was enhancing crop loss compensation to Rs.25,000 per hectare, agricultural loan waiver for farmers having less than five acres of land, increase of MGNREGA wage to Rs.350 per day.

“How can the tehsildar claim that the victim was not a share-cropper when there is no official mechanism yet in Odisha to document them”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:54:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/government-still-in-denial-mode-cpim/article7906750.ece

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