Maharashtra farmer ends life in government office

March 10th, 2008 - 10:37 pm ICT by admin  

Akola (Maharashtra), March 10 (IANS) A debt-ridden farmer in Maharashtra committed suicide Monday by consuming poison in a government office near here, blaming the entire state machinery “from the local police station to the chief minister’s office” for his desperate act. The farmer, Devendra Khedkar (28) of Jitapur village in Akola district’s Murtijapur sub-distict, was rushed first to the sub-district hospital and then to the Akola general hospital after he consumed poison in the office premises. Doctors in the Akola hospital, however, declared him brought dead late afternoon.

Distressed by repeated crop failures and the debt burden, Devendra had sold his four-acre agricultural land to Gangaram Meshram but, according to a suicide note left behind by him, bought it back.

Gangaram had filed a court case against Devendra seeking deletion of his name from the land document and had allegedly been bullying him, district collector Sreekar Pardesi told IANS.

Devendra has mentioned in his suicide note that he met Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil Jan 29 and made three telephone calls to Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in order to explain his plight to them apart from repeatedly visiting the local police station and the sub-district office and filing written complaints.

Confirming that Devendra had complained about harassment from Gangaram, the collector said the government had granted him an ex-gracia aid of Rs.5,000 from the Prime Minister’s relief package for a heart operation last year.

As Devendra’s body was brought back to Murtijapur in the evening, enraged mobs pelted stones at the police station and the sub-district office alleging apathy on the part of the government.

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