Hyderabad, July 30 (PTI) A Scheduled Caste farmer allegedly died of suicide in Siddipet district in Telangana over a dispute involving an assigned land with opposition Congress and BJP attacking the TRS government on the issue.
The incident occurred at Veluru village of Wargal Mandal on Wednesday when the farmer, in his mid-30s, consumed pesticide and died at a hospital in Siddipet on Thursday, police said.
As the opposition parties attacked the government, the latter termed the death of the farmer as unfortunate and said an inquiry would be held into the matter.
The family members of the deceased in a complaint lodged with the police claimed he resorted to the extreme step as the Sarpanch of the village of abused him in the name of caste, police said.
Based on the complaint, a case under relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act had been registered against the Sarpanch, they said.
Photos of the farmer holding the pesticide bottle and audio clip in which he purportedly stated that he was ending his life because the sarpanch and a revenue official were not giving him patta (title of ownership) of the land were circulated in the social media.
Police said the matter was under investigation.
According to a senior police official, the parcel of assigned land (assigned by government to landless poor) was acquired by the government in February, 2014, citing violations of the assignment as he had sold the land.
Subsequently, an electricity sub-station was built in a portion of the landand new construction activity was being planned to which the farmer has opposed, apparently seeking some kind of compensation.
The farmer was in talks with the Sarpanch and local revenue authorities, but nothing positive came out, the police official said based on preliminary investigation.
In a statement, state Congress president and MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy said it was painful that the farmer, who belongs to the village in Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Raos assembly constituency, has ended his life.
Congress demanded that a case under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act be registered against those responsible for the death of the man, Reddy said.
He alleged that attacks on Dalits had increased ever since the TRS government came to power.
BJP said its state unit president Bandi Sanjay Kumar has appointed a fact-finding committee of party leaders to look into the issue.
The party, in a release, claimed its leaders were taken into custody when they were proceeding to meet the family members of the deceased.
State Finance Minister T Harish Rao said the death of the farmer was unfortunate and that the government would help his family in all possible ways.
An inquiry would be held to ascertain who was responsible for the death of the farmer, he said.
Alleging that the opposition parties always tried to gain political mileage without trying to know the facts, he said such attempts were 'shameful' and that the land in question was taken possession by government officials in 2014 when Congress was in power. PTI VVK SJR VS VS