Villagers block road over Bihar family’s suicide

August 23rd, 2011 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Aug 23 (IANS) Angry villagers blocked a road during the visit of Bihar’s Aurangabad district magistrate and superintendent of police Tuesday to protest corruption in a housing scheme that forced a poor family of five to commit suicide, police said.

Mahadalit Rambachan Rajvansi, in his early 30s, poured kerosene and set his wife and three children on fire before killing himself Monday in Mujhar village of Aurangabad, about 100 km from here.

According to police, the family was upset after money allotted to them under the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) was fraudulently taken away by a middleman. The scheme aims to provide housing for the rural poor.

Hundreds of protesters blocked the Daudnagar-Gaya road and shouted slogans against rampant corruption in the IAY implementation.

“Villagers blocked the way of visiting District Magistrate Abhay Kumar Singh and Superintendent of Police Sidharth Mohan Jain when they arrived to conduct an inquiry, and demanded action against middleman and officials responsible for defrauding them,” a police official told IANS by telephone.

Protesting villagers were pacified after the district administration announced a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh each for the five victims’ kin.

Mahadalits, the poorest of the socially marginalised people in Bihar, constitute nearly 15 percent of state’s 104 million population. The Census has identified 21 of the 22 Dalit sub-castes as Mahadalits.

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