Saturday night. Prior to this, at
least six farmers in western Orissa had killed themselves in the current kharif
season. Kartik Mahakud (60) of Karnapali village of Birmaharajpur sub-division allegedly consumed poison and died.
The incident severely affected traffic on Sambalpur-Sonepur Road on Sunday afternoon, as both Congress and BJP workers blocked the road, demanding justice for the farmers. Carrying Mahakud's body, they de-manded adequate compensation for the family of the deceased farmer. They called off the agitation after Subarnapur additional district magistrate Gangadhar Mahandanda assured villagers of appropriate action to help the victim's family.
Sources said Mahakud of Karnapali was a renowned farmer of the locality. He owned five acres of land. But that was not sufficient to maintain his big family. Mahakud has two sons and five daughters. Of them, he had managed to get one of his sons and four of his daughters married. "He was a good and sincere farmer, but was troubled over severe crop damage this year," a villager Rabi Sahu said.
Sources said the deceased had consumed some poisonous substance on Saturday night. He was found in a critical condition by villagers the fol-lowing morning and taken to the hospital where he was declared brought dead. Police have registered an unnatural death case and handed over the body to his family on Sunday, after conducting an autopsy.
"We have registered a case and handed the body over to his family, after conducting an autopsy," a senior police officer of the district said. How-ever, police could not identifythe substance he had consumed to commit suicide. "We are not sure whether it was pesticide or something else. We will know after we get the post mortem report," police added.
But, the district administration followed their usual agenda of denying any links of the suicide to debts or crop loss. "Since the harvesting is yet to start in the locality, how can a farmer assume the quantity of his paddy production. I do not thing the cause has any link with crop loss or debts," collector (Sonepur) Bhawani Prasad Panda said. "But, I have send my ADM to review the situation and submit a report in this issue," Panda added.
Incidentally Pandab Bhoi (38) of Rengali block committed suicide on August 12, Gourahari Patra (48) of Lakhanpur block on October 4, and Bidyadhar Bagh (40) of Rengali block on October 7. On October 18, An-gad Barik (65) of Jamenkira block committed suicide by jumping in front a running train.
Similarly, Kusha Majhi of Tarbode (Nuapara) and Maharshee Narang of Hemgir (Sundergarh) had committed for the same reason. Three other farmers from coastal and southern Orissa had committed suicide over the past one week.
Source :- Times of India