10 (District Correspondent) Holding District Collector of Gadchiroli responsible for the suicide of a tribal farmer from village Malampadi in Etapalli taluka one Ajay Toppo, the family members of the deceased have demanded stern action against the Collector.
The widow of the deceased Urmila, son Roshan and brother Jagatpal addressed the press conference at the Press Club here this afternoon in this regard and narrated the events that led to Ajay’s suicide.
Ms. Urmila told the reporters that on Aug. 31 last her husband Ajay had gone to meet the District Collector at village Manger and complained before him that his crop has badly damaged due to silt caused by excavation on the Surjagad hills as the farm is just at the bottom of the hill. Ajay had demanded some relief against this loss. However, the Collector flatly refused to give any such relief saying that he is not the legal owner of the said land and he does not belong to a tribal community.
Ajay came back to home in the evening and told the family members that he is not going to get any help for the crop loss and how will he manage the family. After taking meals in the night, we all went to bed. When I got up in the midnight to answer the nature’s call, my husband was not found on his cot. After searching for him we found that he had ended his life by hanging himself in the court yard of the house, told Urmila.
My husband committed suicide only because of the District Collector’s disappointing reply about his farm loss and he is responsible for this suicide, she alleged and demanded action against the collector.
Jagatpal, brother of deceased Ajay told that he was personally present with his brother during the meeting with the District Collector. The collector gave very disappointing reply to us and that is why Ajay got worried about his future and committed suicide.
We have been cultivating that land for the last many years and had applied for the ownership under Forest Rights Act but we have not received the patta as yet, he told further. The administration may suppress this matter, he feared saying that the Hedri Police have taken the signatures of the family members on blank papers and did not give us the copies of the papers despite our request.
Also present at the press conference were Mr. Sainu Gota, , Gadchiroli Sept. Adv. Lalsu Nogoti, tribal leaders and former ZP councillors, Ramdas Jarate, District Secretary of Shetkari Kamgar Paksh, Amol Marakwar, Secretary of CPI -M, Ms. Jayshree Welda, leader of PWP, Ms. Kalpana Alam, former Sarpanch of Pursalgondi, Ashok Bada, Chairman of Gram Sabha, Malapadi and Dilram Toppo father of the deceased.
COLLECTOR REFUSES ALLEGATION- Meanwhile District Collector Sanjay Meena has refused the allegations saying they are purely meaningless. The reason of the suicide is domestic dispute, he has added in an official press release.
The land is not in the name of the deceased nor he owes any loan per record. As per govt. rules one must be a tribal for getting forest rights. The proofs of residence of three generations are required for the caste certificate, he has said.
No any eligible person has been deprived of the government help by the administration, Meena has further said. The company of Surjagad mining has been told to give the help to those who are not eligible for the govt. help, stated the release.
The allegations levelled against the Collector are wrong and meaningless, it added.
Photo Ms. Urmila Toppo speaking at the press conference as her family members and other leaders are seated.