he opposition, Congress and BJP, on Tuesday sought registration of an FIR against Balangir sub-collector Bimal Mohanty for abetting suicide of a debt-ridden farmer in Balangir district on March 22.
Raising the matter during zero hour, leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra said the farmer, Nandighosh Barik, along with a few others went to the Balangir sub-collector to apprise the administration of the loss their standing crops suffered in hailstorms on March 21.
Instead of being sympathetic, the sub-collector humiliated Nandighosh for undertaking farming in the dry months, Narasingha told the assembly quoting a police complaint of Nandighosh's brother filed at Loisingha police station.
The 55-year-old farmer from Harbhanga village under Agalpur block had cultivated paddy, brinjal and moong. Narasingha said after facing humiliation instead of words of assurance from the sub-collector, the farmer, who had taken loan from bank and private money lenders ended his life the day after.
Echoing similar sentiments, BJP legislator K V Singhdeo demanded that the state government should investigate the role of the officer. Opposition chief whip and Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the sub-collector knowingly instigated the farmer to commit suicide. Bahinipati said it was yet another instance of bureaucratic high-handedness in the Naveen Patnaik regime.
Bahinipati sought a historic ruling from the speaker on the issue and immediate arrest of the sub-collector. The Balangir sub-collector, when contacted, said the allegation against him is false. Mohanty said during the grievance redressal on March 21 a group of four to five farmers had come with the complaint that they had suffered crop loss due to untimely hail and rain. "I and other officers present were compassionate while listening to the farmers' plights. The tehsildar was immediately asked to conduct an inquiry who submitted his report the same day. Unfortunately, one of the farmers ended his life,"