Land dispute, not cane dues, behind farmer’s suicide, say officials

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Written by Amit Sharma | Meerut | Published: June 7, 2020 1:07:59 am

sugarcane farmers, sugarcane farmers suicide, sugarcane farmer suicide in muzzafarnagar, sugar cane farmer suicide protest in muzzafarnagar, indian express news Om Pal’s body was found hanging from a tree in his filed by his family and others on Thursday.(Representational image)

The Muzaffarnagar administration and police on Saturday said a 55-year-old sugarcane farmer, whose suicide had triggered a protest in Sisauli town the previous day, took the extreme step due to a land dispute with his brothers not because of unpaid dues from a sugar mill, as previously alleged by his family.

A senior official from the state Sugarcane Department said Khatauli-Triveni Sugar Mill has paid farmer Om Pal Singh Rs 31,334 out of Rs 47,194 in dues for a total supply of 156 quintals of sugarcane.

The 22-hour protest was called off on Friday evening after Union minister and local MP Sanjeev Balyan visited Sisauli and announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to Om Pal’s family.

“No FIR in this connection has been lodged against the management of Khatauli-Triveni Sugar Mill by family members of the deceased because the sugarcane dues were not an issue behind the suicide. Om Pal hanged himself following a land dispute with his two brothers,” Virendra Kasana, in-charge of Bhauri Kalan police station told The Sunday Express on phone. A patch of 35 bighas of sugarcane field has been divided among Om Pal and his two other brothers.

“Locals told us that while Singh was looking after the whole land, his two brothers were rarely seen in the field. This is why Singh was asking for a larger share in the farm income,” said Kasana.

Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate Selva Kumari J said Om Pal was supposed to supply 156 quintals of sugarcane, as per his quota for the season, to the sugar mill but could supply 149 quintals. She also concurred with the police investigation that the suicide was the fallout of a land dispute.

Balyan on Friday evening announced Rs 5 lakh compensation from CM’s relief fund and another Rs 5 lakh through his own efforts within a week for Om Pal’s family. The Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal and farmer leader Chaudhary Mahendra Singh Tikait’s Bharatiya Kisan Union also announced monetary help for the family.

Om Pal’s body was found hanging from a tree in his filed by his family and others on Thursday.

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