.........BARGARH:The Departmentally Related Standing Committee-II of State Assembly on Thursday visited Kendpali village in the district to probe the death of a farmer who had allegedly committed suicide by consuming pesticide.
Sources said Khainu Bagarti of the village had taken the extreme step due to crop loss and loan burden on February 28. The death had caused uproar in the State.Committee Chairperson and BJD MLA Pramila Mallik interacted with Kalabati Bagarti, widow of Khainu, at her house along with other panel members. Kalabati said disruption in power supply and resultant failure to draw water from their deep bore-well had forced her husband to commit suicide. Khainu had cultivated paddy and vegetable on three acres of land during last rabi season. However, he failed to irrigate the crop due to frequent power failure and the resultant water scarcity damaged his crop. Khainu was under severe mental pressure after crop failure as he had availed loan for cultivation, she added.
Later, the committee members interacted with the villagers who highlighted problems pertaining to farming community.Speaking to mediapersons, Mallik said the committee will soon submit a report to the House. The villagers have demanded that Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy be increased, she added.
State BJP president Basanta Kumar Panda, who is also a member of the committee, said the facts the villagers placed before the panel clearly indicated that Khainu committed suicide due to crop loss, frequent power failure and loan burden.Earlier, a proposal was adopted during the last Budget session of the Assembly in March that Departmentally Related Standing Committee-II of the House would visit Kendpali to inquire into the cause of suicide by Khainu.
The Standing Committee was supposed to visit Kendpali on May 9. However, it had not visited the village on the scheduled date, which led to farmers staging demonstration across Western Odisha on September 7.