Podu farmer ends life in Telangana, foresters blamed

The former sarpanch alleged that the forest officials used to take one sheep as bribe every month to allow the farmers to graze their sheep in the forest lands.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.(Photo | EPS)

NALGONDA : A 58-year-old farmer who had been cultivating podu land in Bangarikunta thanda of Adavidevulapally mandal in Nalgonda district for over 15 years died by suicide on Wednesday, allegedly after being harassed by some officials of the Forest department.

According to the villagers, Kurra Kasna had been cultivating cotton and pulses on four acres of podu land. On Wednesday, Kasna, along with his son K Srenu and daughter-in-law Achi, was doing farmwork when forest officials stopped them and proceeded to dig pits for planting saplings with the JCB that they brought with them.

Villagers said that Kasna and his family requested the officials not to do so but their pleas fell on deaf ears, following which the farmer hanged himself from a nearby tree.

The police complaint lodged by the victim’s son said that Kasna was driven to suicide due to harassment by forest officials.

K Srinu, a former sarpanch of the village, alleged that the forest officials had been demanding a bribe to allow the farmers to cultivate on the land.

The former sarpanch said that all the farmers who had been carrying out farming activities in 100 acres of podu land in Bangarikunta thanda under Compartment 61, Molakacherla beat in Adavidevulapally mandal applied for patta certificates.

“Farmers cultivating in 60 acres were given titles during the previous BRS regime. However, 15 farmers who have been cultivating in another 40 acres did not receive the titles. Forest beat officers Yadagiri Reddy, Swamy and Section Officer Ramulu ensured that only farmers who paid them bribes got the titles,” he added. 

Foresters accused of taking bribes

The police complaint filed by Srenu, the victim’s son, also mentions the names of these three forest beat officers, accusing them of harassing his father.

The former sarpanch alleged that the forest officials used to take one sheep as bribe every month to allow the farmers to graze their sheep in the forest lands.

Alleging that Kasna died due to harassment by the forest officials, the villagers tried to stage a dharna by keeping the body in front of the forest office in Miryalaguda, but the police sent them away and shifted the body to the government hospital for postmortem.

Srenu lodged a complaint with the Miryalaguda DSP alleging that his father died by suicide due to harassment by forest officials.

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