Monday, 30th October 2017

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Tiff twist in farm suicide

Sheohar district authorities on Friday claimed that Narad Rai did not commit suicide under duress because his maize crop did not yield grains, and instead said that the 55-year-old farmer consumed pesticide due to family problems.

By Ramashankar in Patna
  • Published 17.03.18
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Patna: Sheohar district authorities on Friday claimed that Narad Rai did not commit suicide under duress because his maize crop did not yield grains, and instead said that the 55-year-old farmer consumed pesticide due to family problems.

Narad, a resident of Rajadih village, around 20km northeast of the Sheohar district headquarters and 135km from Patna, was found unconscious in his maize field and died in a private hospital at Muzaffarpur. Sheohar district magistrate (DM) Raj Kumar, who had set up a seven-member team to probe Narad's death on Wednesday, said a detailed report had been sent to the government.

Quoting Narad's close relative Om Prakash Rai, the DM said Narad was upset for years due to family problems.

Om Prakash, in a petition sent to the DM, said some people at the Muzaffarpur hospital told him to give the incident a different colour to get compensation from the government for loss of crops. "I did exactly what they had suggested and told the police and the media that my brother committed suicide under duress due to poor maize yield," Om Prakash said in his petition, a copy of which is with The Telegraph.

The petition claimed that Narad's death had nothing to do with loss of crop and also denied that Narad had taken land on lease. Residents of Rajadih, however, said Narad had taken two-and-half bighas of land on lease from a neighbour, Mantoo Rai, on the condition that he would give Mantoo a quintal per 10 quintal of yield.

Local residents also said Narad had taken a loan from the Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank at Brindawan Musahari.

"The district administration is trying to hush up the matter and has influenced the family members to change the earlier statement," alleged CPI-ML district secretary Shatrughan Sahni.

Bihar Janhit Sena president Anish Jha also backed Sahni, as did Tuntun Kumar, a former panchayat committee member.