A daily wage labourer allegedly committed suicide in Upper Assam’s Goalpara district, with sources claiming he and his family had run out of rations owing to the ongoing lockdown.
A police source said the victim has been identified as Gopal Barman, 40, a resident of Balijana in Agia. He had committed suicide on Saturday and the incident came to light on Sunday morning.
The source said it was yet to ascertained if he had committed suicide owing to starvation but some locals told the police that almost everybody in the area had run out of rations and were yet to receive any government relief.
Barman had left home on Friday after a quarrel with his wife and he was later found hanging from a tree near a field in Balijana. The source said he might have taken the extreme step owing to a possible family dispute but it could not be denied that it was owing to the lack of food. Barman was a daily wage-earner and had already ran out of money, the source added.
The source said mostly daily wagers and labourers lived in the area who have no jobs and money after the lockdown was imposed. Some of them used to sell fish for a living but since the imposition of the lockdown, they are not being able to earn a livelihood owing to the restrictions.
Goalpara deputy commissioner Varnali Deka said Varnali Deka said, “Balijana circle officer, who went to investigate the incident, said family conflict was behind Barman’s death. The family had also collected the ration for April.”
Balijana has a population of around 500 and is around 140km from the state capital. An investigation is on.
Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia, in a video released on Sunday, said Assam had not received any financial package as promised by the Centre.
“Various state governments have announced their own packages but no such package has been announced by the Assam government. According to the Centre’s directives, the stranded labourers of Assam have not received any essential items or relief fund. It was declared that those without ration cards will receive Rs 1,000 but even after 12 days of lockdown, Assam villagers have not received the amount,” Saikia said.
He requested the Assam government to take adequate steps to help those who hit hard by the lockdown.
Additional reporting by Rokibuz Zaman in Guwahati