Mahoba farmer succumbs,magisterial probe ordered

Babbu Kushwaha,the farmer who had set himself on fire in protest against the “inadequate” compensation being offered for his land in Kabrai area of Mahoba on Friday,succumbed to his injuries at the Jhansi Medical College on early Saturday.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published:January 30, 2011 7:17 am

Babbu Kushwaha,the farmer who had set himself on fire in protest against the “inadequate” compensation being offered for his land in Kabrai area of Mahoba on Friday,succumbed to his injuries at the Jhansi Medical College on early Saturday.

Mahoba DM Vijay Vishwas Pant told The Indian Express that a magisterial probe has been ordered into the farmer’s death.

In the morning,the farmers of the area blocked the Mahoba-Kanpur highway demanding that an FIR be lodged against the tehsildar who was present when Kushwaha had set himself on fire. The blockade was removed after the district administration announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the bereaved family and also made an immediate payment of Rs 3 lakh. The district magistrate also assured to arrange a job for a member of the family. The locals had blocked the highway last night also to press the authorities to agree to the farmers’ demand over compensation. The agitation ended around 1 am after the DM accepted their memorandum.

Mahoba DM also told The Indian Express that the administration has also accepted the farmers’ demand to lodge an FIR against tehsildar Anwaar Rashid Farooqui,however,no one has yet come forward with a complaint. He said Rs 3 lakh paid to the farmer’s family included money collected by the officials of the Irrigation department.

Devendra Mohan,Engineer-in-Chief of Irrigation,who visited the spot,said the department would employ one member of the family as class IV employee. The Irrigation department requires 1,600 hectare land for constructing a reservoir. The land belongs to six villages located around Kabrai dam. The district administration was asked to fix the rate for purchasing land from the farmers.

Since the land rate in Jheer Sahewa village,to which Kushwaha belonged,was Rs 2.75 lakh per hectare while it was Rs 4.75 lakh in other villages. The farmers of Jheer Shaewa have been holding an agitation to demand the price for land as is paid to the farmers of other villages. Mohan said the matter was still being negotiated when Kushwaha took the extreme step. Two hundred hectare land of Jheer Sahewa village is earmarked for the reservoir,he said. The DM said they have asked the farmers to hold negotiations with them over the issue.

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