Cong, BJP demand action against officer over farmer suicide

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Bhubaneswar, March 30: Opposition Congress and BJP Tuesday demanded action against a senior officer who allegedly abetted a farmer to commit suicide in Bolangir district on March 21.

Nadighosh Barik, a resident of Harabhanga village under Loisinga police station, committed suicide by hanging from a tree on March 21 after being allegedly harassed by the Bolangir district sub-collector, leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra said.

The farmer had lost his crop in three acres due to severe hailstorm on March 18, he added.

The issue was raised in the Assembly during zero hour by Mishra who also hails from Bolangir district.

“I have visited the farmer’s family. His brother has filed an FIR at Loisinga police station holding the district collector, sub-collector and the Chief minister responsible for Barik’s death,” Mishra said.

Quoting the victim’s brother Kartik Barik’s FIR at Loisinga police station lodged on March 22, Mishra said Barik and some other farmers had met local tehsildar and BDO seeking assistance for the crop loss due to hailstorm.

Since the two officers did not give any assurance to them, the farmers went to the district headquarters town of Bolangir and tried to meet the district collector. As the district collector was not available at that time, they met the sub-collector, the Congress leader said.

“The sub-collector had insulted my brother and instigated him to do whatever (suicide) he likes. He also said that farmers do not commit suicide over loss due to hailstorm,” Mishra said quoting from Barik’s FIR copy.

Alleging that the officer abetted the farmer to commit suicide, he sought to know the action taken by the police on the basis of the FIR.

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Congress Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati demanded that the officer be arrested.

Senior BJP member and former minister K V Singhdeo also demanded action against the officer.

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