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A farmer dies by suicide on Wednesday in Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region and before suicide, he left a five-page note addressed to Prime Minister Modi. The farmer used to own a small flour mill. His family alleges that he died because of the pressure and harassment of a power distribution company to whom he had to pay an electricity bill of about Rs 88,000. 

His family says that the power distribution company confiscated his flour mill and motorbike. The late farmer has three daughters and a son.

In the note which was recovered by the police near the dead body of the farmer, it was written, “When there are scams by big politicians and businessmen the government employees don’t take any action. If they take a loan they get enough time to repay it or the loan is waived. But, if a poor person takes even a small amount of loan, the government would never ask him as to why he was not able to repay the loan. Instead, he is insulted in public.” 

He also wrote that after his death his body should be hand over to the government so they can sell his organs and pay the pending hefty electricity bill of about Rs 88,000. 

The brother of the victim who works in the power distribution company demanded strict action against the culprits behind his brother’s death.

He said, “My brother ended his life due to harassment by the power distribution company. My brother was highly upset and under stress since his flour mill and the motorbike were seized by the power distribution company.”

He also added, “My brother was not able to pay the electricity bills as there was no good crop this year. Earlier, there was an average bill of about Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per month but suddenly a bill of about Rs 88,000 was given to him. Without giving any time to pay the bill, the power distribution company officials in Chhatarpur district sent a legal notice to my brother and seized his flour mill and motorbike. A team took away the bike causing harassment and stress to my brother. He wanted some time to pay the bill but the officials refused to listen to his pleas.”

Kamaljeet Singh in-charge of the Matguva police station said, “We have got a note. The deceased’s father and brothers tried to convince him not to get stressed about the power bill. However, when his wife returned from her parents’ house there was an argument between her and the victim over the unpaid bill. Later, he took a drastic step. However, an investigation is going on in the matter.”

Harsh Yadav, ex-minister and congress MLA raising his concern over the matter said, “Farmers and others are at the receiving end of the power distribution companies. Either teams of the power distribution company or its recovery agents are harassing the farmers and others like anything. They seize and take away tractors, trolleys, bikes, etc whatever they get from the houses of the farmers in the name of recovery of power bills. That too when Kharif crops were not good because of bad weather this year.”

The chief engineer and the superintending engineer of the power distribution company made no comments on the matter.

Sheelendra Singh collector of Chhatarpur said, “The deceased’s father gets pension and he gets the benefit of PM Kisan Kalyan Yojna too. His brother works in the power distribution company. The administration immediately gave ex-gratia of Rs 25,000 to the deceased’s family. An inquiry would be conducted in connection with the incident and action would be taken if anyone is found responsible for the suicide.”

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