A 42-year-old vegetable vendor was found hanging on a neem tree inside the Gram Panchayat complex in Adalaj village of Gandhinagar district, on Wednesday morning. While Adalaj police have registered a case of accidental death in the matter, a dispute over construction of a house over Gauchar land of the village by the deceased has primarily come out as the root cause of the incident.
The deceased has been identified as Ganpat Dantani who belongs to Devipujak community.
With the family of four, three children – the eldest Shital (20) married in Rupal, Gandhinagar, Vishal (16) a Class X student of a private school in Adalaj and the youngest Dharmesh (10), a Class V student, Ganpat Dantani (42), Ganpat was staying on a rented two room house in Adalaj village.
“Since the ancestral house nearby was divided into four, we had to share a room with my brother-in-law’s family. So nearly five six years back, we decided to take this house on rent, but with increasing expenses it was getting difficult to pay rent of Rs 2000,” said Ganpat’s widow Sunita, in mid 30’s.
Ganpat’s family came to know about his suicide at around 7 am from village women who had gone at the village’s milk co-operative and had overheard about such an incident that somebody has committed suicide at the Panchayat office. Later, they learnt that it was none other but her husband.
Further adding to her woes she said, “My husband was very disturbed since last six months due to this issue. He has been requesting for some land from the Panchayat which was promised and given in a barren land nearly two-km away which we accepted and recently started the construction.”
Ganpat’s son, Vishal, said that nothing was given to his father on record and the permission to build house was oral.
When asked about the possible reasons for her husband’s suicide his nephew Balram Dantani said, “He was being harassed on the hands of Panchayat members and a few villagers.”
Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat Kokila Thakor expressed ignorance about the entire episode saying, “I was at my parental home and have returned today evening.”
Deputy Sarpanch Ishwarsinh Vaghela said, “Ganpat had started construction on village Gauchar land which we cannot allow. And when a formal application came, by one Praful Thakor, taking objection to the construction, we asked him (Ganpat) to stop it yesterday.”
When pointed out that some of Ganpat’s relatives were alleging that some other people had also built houses on Gauchar land without being stopped by the Gram Panchayat, Vaghela said, “We got elected around year back. Those houses were built during the tenure of previous elected bodies. We cannot speak about that. We are concerned about our term.”
Assistant Sub-Inspector of Adalaj police station Jitendra Kumar who is investigating the case said, “This man had attempted suicide four months back inside the Panchayat office. He wanted to build house for himself. And the Panchayat officials had given him permission to erect some kutcha house on Gauchar land. However, when he started pucca construction, some local who owns a farm house nearby there objected to the same after which the Panchayat had asked him to stop the construction.” “We have registered a case of accidental death,” said Kumar adding that no suicide note was recovered from the dead body of Ganpat.
Meanwhile, Ganpat’s family performed his last rites on Wednesday evening itself after post-morterm on his dead body.