Facing eviction over debt, Punjab farmer, his mother kill themselves

Baljeet Singh, 32, and his mother Balveer Kaur, 60, were said to have consumed pesticide while police and district officials were in their house.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Updated: April 27, 2016 8:30 am
farmer suicide, Punjab farmer suicide, bathinda, barnala farmer suicide, punjab farming, arhtiya, non-banking loan, land issue, farmer commits suicide, farmer suicide, punjab farmer, farmer kills self, India news Baljeet’s father, Darshan Singh, had taken a loan of Rs 1.10 lakh from a commission agent, Teja Singh, in 2002, after mortgaging 15 kanals of land and their house.

A FARMER and his mother allegedly committed suicide in Cheema Jodhpur village of Barnala district on Tuesday, after they were told to vacate their house and farm land due to their inability to repay a loan.

Baljeet Singh, 32, and his mother Balveer Kaur, 60, were said to have consumed pesticide while police and district officials were in their house.

Baljeet’s father, Darshan Singh, had taken a loan of Rs 1.10 lakh from a commission agent, Teja Singh, in 2002, after mortgaging 15 kanals of land and their house.

A couple of years later, as the loan remained unpaid, Teja sought to take possession of the property and won the case in the civil court in 2007. While Darshan died in 2012, Teja later went to High Court and filed a contempt of court case.

On Tuesday, armed with the High Court order to take possession of the property, Teja went to Baljeet’s house, accompanied by police and district officials.

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A minor scuffle ensued as Baljeet tried to resist eviction. Unable to reach a compromise, Baljeet reportedly went to the top floor and consumed pesticide, while his mother, who was on the ground floor, also consumed pesticide. The two were rushed to the civil hospital in Barnala, from where they were referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana. They died on their way to Ludhiana.

While the police have lodged an FIR against five persons on charges of abetment to suicide and assault, no arrests have been made yet. The five persons named in the FIR are: Teja Singh, his sons Jaspreet Singh and Manna Singh, a relative named Baljeet Singh, and a friend who is also named Baljeet Singh.

SP (Investigation) Swarn Singh Khanna said the FIR was lodged on the complaint of farmer unions. He said action would be taken as per law.

Soon after the FIR was filed, Teja got himself admitted in the civil hospital in Barnala. His son claimed that he had suffered injuries in the scuffle.

Farmer unions, led by the Bharti Kisan Union, have demanded compensation for the victim’s younger brother, Manjeet, 25. They have refused to cremate the bodies till the accused are arrested.

The Barnala Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Amarvir Singh Sidhu, said the team of officials had gone to get the HC’s orders implemented, and they would be sending a report to the HC before the next date of hearing.

“The HC had directed implementation of its order on possession of property in July 2015, but we could not do so due to protests by farmer unions. On February 5, 2016, the court again ordered possession of the farm land and house. The next date of hearing is May 6,” said Sidhu.

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