Accusing leaders of land grab, tiller dies by suicide in Telangana

The 43-year-old farmer died by suicide after recording a video clip in Khammam on Monday evening.
Bogedla Prabhakar
Bogedla Prabhakar

HYDERABAD.KHAMMAM : Alleging that his agriculture land was dug up and grabbed with the support of local leaders of the ruling Congress and TDP, Bogedla Prabhakar, a 43-year-old farmer, died by suicide after recording a video clip in Khammam on Monday evening.

The farmer hailed from Proddutur of Chintakani mandal in Madhira Assembly segment of Khammam which is represented by Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.

The suicide sparked a political slugfest in the state on Tuesday with the Opposition BRS blaming the ruling party for the death of the farmer.

Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy directed officials to take action against those responsible for the death of the farmer.

In the video, purportedly shot by some other person, Prabhakar alleges that some persons dug up three acres out of his 7.10 acres of the farmland owned by him and his father Veerabhadraiah in Survey numbers 276 and 277 using earthmovers. 

Ryots had tried to meet collector before ending life

In his video, the farmer mentioned the names of Kurapati Kishore, P Rama Rao, Gurram Nagamalleswara Rao, Mogili Srinu and Mogili Muthaiah in the video. Kurpati Kishore is Congress Chintakani mandal spokesperson.

Prabhakar says in the video that he met the SI and tahsildar seeking help and when he wanted to meet the district collector in Prajavani programme on Monday, the officials informed that the time was over.

He then consumed pesticides after which he called his family and informed them.

The farmer says in the video that he had voted for the Congress in the recent elections and he had no other option but to end his life. He appealed to the government to do justice to his family members and take up his case with the chief minister and the deputy chief minister.

According to the police, the accused are members of a fishermen’s society and they tried to merge tank bund, which was allegedly occupied by Prabhakar, with the water body.

However, in Hyderabad former minister T Harish Rao demanded that the police treat the selfie-video as the farmer’s dying declaration and register cases against those named by Prabhakar. Harish Rao alleged that the police, instead of registering cases against the accused, were trying to register the case against the person who shot the video.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Thummala Nageswara Rao directed officials to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report. He appealed to farmers not to take extreme steps and said that the government would resolve land-related disputes.

Cases registered

Meanwhile, the Khammam Urban police registered cases against 10 persons under Sections 108 r/3(5) BNS (attempt to commit culpable homicide)based on the complaint given by the family members of the deceased.

The police said that a dispute between members of fishermen’s society and Prabhakar over the land was going on for some time. Prabhakar alleged the society members, with support of local leaders of the Congress, TDP and CPI, dug up his three acres.

Mandal leader’s version

However, Chintakani mandal Congress president Ambati Venkateswara Rao alleged that BRS leaders, on the pretext of lodging a complaint with the police, took Prabhakar to Khammam.

 He alleged that the BRS leaders arranged liquor for the farmer and under the influence of alcohol, Prabhakar was forced to take the extreme step.

 The BRS leaders shot the video three to four times, Venkateswara Rao alleged. He said that the Congress has nothing to do with the suicide.

(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050, Tele Manas - 14416 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)

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