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Rajshahi Santal farmers commit suicide for not getting irrigation water, police said in chargesheets

The two Santal farmers in Rajshahi committed suicide by consuming poison as the sacked Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) deep tubewell operator did not provide irrigation water for their land timely, police said on Friday.

The police mentioned this in separate chargesheet of the two cases filed over incitement to suicide by the two farmers. It is mentioned in the case statement that Abhinath Marandi and Robi Marandi committed suicide for not getting irrigation water for their land.

The Investigating Officer (IO) Mahfuzur Rahman, sub-inspector (SI) of Godagari police station, said the chargesheet in the case of Abhinath Marandi’s death was submitted to the Godagari Amli court on April 27. A chargesheet of the the case of incitement to suicide of Rabi Marandi was submitted on April 29 after investigation.

He said the BMDA operator Shakhawat Hossain was charged in the cases following an investigation.

Shakhawat used to harass the indigenous farmers by not providing irrigation water. He used to provide water to the people close to him, said the SI.

Meanwhile, Rajshahi district police Court Inspector Abdur Rafique said the court has accepted two chargesheets.

On March 24, Rabi, 32, a Santal community member of Nimghatu village in Godagari upazila, and his cousin Abhinath, 30, consumed poison in front of Shakhawat.

They took the decision out of anger “as Shakhawat was not giving them a serial number for a long time to get irrigation water supplied to their fields in Iswarpur”, according to their family.

Abhinath died around 9pm after reaching home on March 24 while Rabi died two days later at Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH).

Brigadier General Shamim Yazdani, director of RMCH, confirmed both the brothers died from consumption of poison.

Later, the Agriculture Ministry formed a four-member panel to probe the deaths of the two farmers.

Police arrested Shakhawat, who is also president of no 5 ward unit Krishak League, in connection with the death of two farmers on April 3.

Source: United News of Bangladesh