Madhya Pradesh: Please pay electricity bills by selling my body parts, writes a farmer before suicide
Munendra Singh, a resident of a village in Chattarpur who was also running a flour mill had unpaid power bills of Rs 87,000 because of closure of his mill during COVID-19 induced lockdown
In ashocking incident amid the ongoing farmers’ protest, a farmer in Madhya Pradesh committed suicide on Wednesday as he was tormented by the stress of feeding his family and was humiliated by the state electricity department.
“Mera sharir sarkar ko de de aur sharir ka ang ang bech kar karz chukata kra le” (Please give my body to the government and pay the loan by selling my body parts) says the seven-page long suicide note of a 40-year-old farmer, who hanged himself from the tree in his field on Wednesday.
The farmer, Munendra Singh, a resident of Matgunwa village in Chattarpur was also running a flour mill. He had unpaid power bills of Rs 87,000 because of the closure of the mill during the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
A day before his suicide, on Tuesday, the Electricity Department employees not only seized his motorcycle, 10 horsepower motor and flour mill in a bid to recover the bills, but also humiliated him in the middle of the busy market.
Unable to bear the insult and stress to feed his five-member family after the seizure of the mill, Munendra committed suicide asking his family to hand over the body to the government so that the loan could be repaid by selling his body parts, said a family member of the deceased Lokendra Singh.
He has left behind his wife and four minor children, including three daughters and a son.
Addressing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his suicide note, Munendra Singh Rajput claimed to be a supporter of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Explaining the reasons behind his heavy power bill, he wrote in the letter, “The mill was closed in lockdown but the electricity bill was souring. Out of three, one of my buffalo was electrocuted, while two others were stolen. And the crops were ruined in the heavy rains."
He further wrote, "The source of earning was mill, but the heavy power bills were a burden. But, a month ago, somehow I paid Rs 35, 000 to the Electricity Department, but they gave me a receipt of Rs 5,000. And when I failed to clear the dues within their time frame, they tarnished my image and seized my property.”
Munendra, in the suicide letter, urged PM Modi to undertake a reality check of ground-level implementation of the government schemes for farmers and the poor as the corruption is rampant. “The government schemes are only running on the papers and government officials harass vulnerable farmers and marginalised sections of the society.”
When contacted, Chhatarpur SP, Sachin Sharma said, “A case has been registered and investigation is underway. Will take action accordingly.”
Coming down heavily on the BJP and the Electricity Department, State Congress spokesperson Abbas Hafiz Khan said, “Union Government can waive crores of loans and bills of industrialists but not of farmers. When Congress returned to power in the State the Government had launched Rs 100 for 100 unit power bills. But the current regime discontinued it.”
“The power bills have been souring since the BJP returned to power in the State and farmers and marginalised are bearing the brunt of it,” he added.