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'Harassed' by Revenue Inspector, Lekhpal Over 'Bribe' for Land Measurement, UP Farmer Die by Suicide

The incident triggered protests in the village, following which two officials were suspended.
Farmers suicide in UP

Representational image. | Image courtesy: flickr

Lucknow: A farmer in the Jhansi district of Bundelkhand region was found hanging from a tree outside his village on Saturday evening and has left a suicide note with serious allegations that the Revenue Department staff and Lekhpal had allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively from him for the measurement of his land. This triggered protests in the village, following which two officials were suspended.

In a suicide note recovered from the deceased farmer, the Revenue Inspector and Lekhpal have been accused of demanding a bribe. He had allegedly blamed the duo officials for the extreme step.

Raghuveer, a native of Fatehpur (state) of Moth tehsil of Jhansi district, hanged himself from a tree outside his village, police said.

"Prima facie, the deceased farmer had been running from pillar to post for land demarcation. On Saturday's 'Samadhan Diwas' (complete public grievances redressal day), he again visited the tehsil. Allegedly depressed over the delay, he died by suicide while returning home," Ankur Srivastava, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Moth, told media, adding that the suicide note received from Raghuveer was being investigated.

According to Jiya Lal, the deceased son, his father owns about nine bighas of land. During the chakbandi (land consolidation) in 1976, 65 decimals of the land of his farm were grabbed by the adjoining farm owner. About 11 years ago, he had demanded to get land by giving an application in Moth tehsil. After this, there was a case of map correction for about seven years, through which the map of the land was corrected. For the last five years, the case of demarcation has been going on in the Revenue Court. 15 days ago, Revenue Inspector Satyanarayan Tiwari and Lekhpal Hemant Rajput had measured the land. Even after this, his 17 decimal lands could not be freed from possession. Objecting to this, the deceased farmer lodged a complaint on 'Samadhan Diwas' on June 18.

"Despite the decision being taken in our favour in the case of demarcation. Revenue Inspector Satyanarayan Tiwari and Lekhpal Hemant Rajput were harassing Raghuveer. They were continuously demanding an Rs 18,000 bribe from my father, which he was not in a position to pay. When he refused, saying he didn't even have money to pay auto to go home, The officer provoked him to die by suicide if he didn't have money," Lal told NewsClick.

The suicide, meanwhile, triggered a protest by farmers who demanded that a case be registered against the officials for their alleged harassment. The angry farmers staged a road blockade and refused to cremate the body till their demands were met.

Lal also alleged that his father had complained about this matter on the chief minister's portal and to the DM, but no action was taken.

In similar alleged harassment, another debt-ridden farmer died by suicide in the Bijnor district last week after being allegedly humiliated by the loan recovery team of the village cooperative society.

According to his neighbours, the farmer felt insulted after the recovery team allegedly created a scene in front of his relatives at his house while he was preparing for his niece's wedding ceremony. The officials left after he assured them of repaying the instalments by night. Later, a humiliated Singh consumed poison at night, according to one relative. He is survived by two children and a wife.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav alleged that under Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime, the farmers in Uttar Pradesh are compelled to die by suicide.

The former chief minister alleged that the policies of the BJP government have ruined the farmers and youth.

"On the one hand, the farmers are being killed after being crushed under the wheels of the jeep, and on the other hand, the corrupt system of BJP's government is forcing the farmers to die by suicide.

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