A farmer hailing from Dhadheki village in Haridwar, Uttarakhand woke up at around 3 am on Monday, took a bath, performed his daily puja (worship), and before the family members would wake up, consumed aluminium phosphide, an agricultural pesticide. He died by 6.15 am that morning.
The police recovered a suicide note from Ishwar Chand Sharma’s (65), pocket, which mentioned a loan about Rs 4 lakh that Sharma had taken from one Ajit Singh in 2013. While the other part of the suicide note contained allegations against the BJP government.
“Paanch saal mein har kaam band kiya bhajpaa sarkar ne kisan khatm kiya (In five years BJP government has ruined the farmers),” the suicide note read.
Further, in his suicide note, Sharma from Laksar region appealed to voters to not vote for the BJP this time, “else all farmers will have to sell tea”.
Akshay Kumar (36), Sharma’s elder son said his father died on the way to the hospital. “We were on the way to a hospital in Haridwar, but father died on the way itself, so we returned home with his body.”
Based on a complaint by Sharma’s younger son Arun Kumar (33), an FIR was registered in the Laksar police station on Tuesday against Ajit for allegedly provoking Sharma to commit suicide.
Station house officer, Laksar police station, Virendra Singh said, “The suicide note is yet to be verified. And the police investigation is underway to probe the circumstances under which Sharma committed suicide.”
Akshay said, “My father had taken a loan of Rs 4 lakh from Ajit Singh in 2013. Ajit lives in Laksar and gives loans to farmers in the area. My father, under pressure from Ajit had issued a cheque to pay the loan, but the cheque bounced. Ajit then filed a case against my father, and the case is ongoing in the Laksar court.”
On Monday, Sharma had to appear in the Laksar court for the final hearing on the case.
“We don’t know what was exactly going on between Ajit and my father… There might have been some pressure from Ajit due to which he committed suicide,” Akshay said.
He, however, did not comment on the suicide note and its contents.
“I don’t know what my father wrote in the suicide note. I didn’t read it,” Akshay said.
Uttarakhand BJP spokesperson Devendra Bhasin said, “A farmer died. It is indeed very sad news. We don’t know who politicised the suicide, but the BJP has no role in the suicide. All we know is that someone cheated the farmer due to which the farmer committed suicide. The police are on the case and are verifying the details related to the suicide.”
Meanwhile, taking a dig at BJP, Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee president Pritam Singh said, “(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji has been saying that the BJP works in favour of the farmers. The BJP government in Uttarakhand has completed two years in the state but has fulfilled none of the promises that were made to the farmers ahead of the 2017 state Assembly polls. The chief minister (Trivendra Rawat) is totally insensitive as far as such issues of farmers’ suicides are concerned.”