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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 4:

Hadu Bagarti committed suicide due to family dispute, not crop loss or debt burden, said Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy here today.

Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy today told the state Assembly that the Bargarh farmer could have taken the extreme step due to his internal problems in the family and not due to crop loss or loan burden as alleged by the Opposition.

However, the Minister told mediapersons outside the Assembly that Hadu committed suicide due to family quarrel.

“Khainu alias Hadu Bagarti had a quarrel with his wife over sprinkling pesticide in the field following which he consumed pesticide. He was admitted to VIMSAR where he died on February 26. So the death, based on Collector’s report, was due to consumption of pesticide,” Maharathy told media.

The Minister further said that Bagarti hailing from Kendupalli had three acres of farm land of which he had grown vegetables on one acre and paddy on remaining field. As he belonged to the BPL category, the family was getting 10 kg rice per month. He had a loan of only Rs 18, 818. After his death, Rs 10, 000 financial aid has been extended to the family from the Red Cross Fund.

The issue of farmer suicide and alleged distress sale of vegetables had paralysed the Assembly after which the Speaker Niranjan Pujari had to pass a ruling.

Speaker had issued a ruling earlier on Thursday asking the Agriculture Minister to make a statement on the alleged suicide of Hadu Bargarti and distress sale of vegetables in different districts by Saturday.

Opposition Congress had alleged that the farmer had committed suicide due to crop loss and loan burden.

On the other hand, the Opposition refused to buy Minister’s statement.

“Due to lack of power supply, the farmer was affected. He had availed loan from Utkal Gramya Bank. The farmer has committed suicide due to loan burden and the Minister’s statement is unfortunate and condemnable,” BJP leader Pradeep Purohit said.