Bhopal: “Mera sharir sarkar ko de de aur sharir ka ang ang bech kar karz chukta karwa le (Give my body to the government and pay the dues by selling all my organs),” reads the seven-page long suicide note of a 40-year-old farmer from Madhya Pradesh who died by suicide at his field on Wednesday, December 30.
The farmer, Munendra Singh Rajput, a resident of Matgunwa village in Chattarpur, who was also running a flour mill had unpaid power bills of Rs 87,000 following the closure of the mill during the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
As per reports, one day before his suicide, on Tuesday, the Electricity Department employees not only seized his motorcycle, 10 horsepower motor and flour mill in a bid to recover the bills, but also insulted him in the middle of the market.
Unable to bear the insult and the pressure to feed his five-member family after the seize of his mill, Munendra killed himself telling them to sell his organs to pay the dues, said family member of the deceased Lokendra Singh.
He is survived by his wife and four minor children – three daughters and a son.
Addressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the suicide note, Rajput claimed himself a supporter of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Also see: MP Farmers: ‘We Don’t Even Get What We Invest From Selling Crops’
Highlighting his heavy electricity bills, he wrote, “The mill was closed in lockdown but the electricity bill was soaring. Out of three, one of my buffalo was electrocuted, while two others were stolen. And the crops were ruined in the heavy rains."
He further wrote, "The source of earning was the mill, but the heavy power bills were a burden. But, a month ago, somehow I paid Rs 35, 000 to the Electricity Department, but they gave me a receipt of Rs 5,000. and when I failed to clear the dues within their time frame, they tarnished my image and seized my property.”
Urging PM Modi to undertake a reality check of ground-level implementation of government schemes for farmers and the poor as corruption is rampant, he wrote, “The government schemes are only running on the papers and government officials harass farmers and marginalised sections of the society.”
When contacted, Chhatarpur SP, Sachin Sharma said, “A case has been registered and investigation is underway. Will take action accordingly.”
Following the farmer’s death, state Congress spokesperson Abbas Hafiz Khan lashed out at the BJP government and the Electricity Department, saying, “Union government can waive crores of loans and bills of industrialists but not of farmers. When Congress returned to power in the state, the government had launched Rs 100 for 100 unit power bills. But the current regime discontinued it.”