I am a journalist, working as Balangir correspondent of the English daily "The Pioneer" and “The Industry and Mines Observer”, an English fortnightly magazine published from Bhubneshwar. I was awarded the Trophy for "Excellence in Journalism" by noted Columnist Sri Shivaji Sarkar,in the presence of Editor in Chief -of The Pioneer,Dr Chandan Mitra ,Editor of The Industry and Mines Observer (IMO) Sri Sirish Mohanty on June19,2012.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Farmer dies after losing land in Balangir TUESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2011 22:42 SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR HITS: 9
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Even as the
district, along with other parts of western Odisha is reeling under a severe
drought due to scanty and irregular rainfall resulting in loss of Kharif paddy
and reports of farmers suicide are coming at regular intervals, yet in a
shocking development, a farmer Lingaraj Sahu (55) of village Ghumer in
Patnagarh block died.
Lingaraj had lost his mental balance after losing his land to a company. Ghumer
village shot into limelight four years ago as the land of poor farmers were
transferred to different companies in a fraudulent manner by their agents in
connivance with local tehsil officials and influential people of Patnagarh to
promote Jatropha cultivation.
sources, ten companies New Ace Builder and Developers, New Delhi,Taj
Gases Private Limited ,Agra, Enercore Diesels Private Limited ,Delhi,
Supertech Printing Private Limited Delhi, Sparsh Medicare Private Limited
Delhi, LEFIN (India) Private Limited, Delhi, Cladyin Hoteland Resort
Private Limited Delhi, Millennium Steel Cast Private Limited Delhi,
Fasteck Sofwares Private, Delhi and Siyaram Energy Private Limited, Delhi
acquired total of 358.43acre of land and a total of 70 sale deeds were
Nine of these
companies are registered in New Delhi and only one company Taj Gases is in
Agra. Moreover, the address furnished by others is their broad area and not the
reports, in 2005 Mahesh Dixit of Taj Gases of Agra along with locals including
Bikram Acharya and one Sushil Pradhan held a meeting in the village Ghumer
where Mahesh appealed and requested villagers to give their land on lease for
three years so that he could start a dairy farm and set up an incense stick
factory. Mahesh took a pledge in the local village temple to win the hearts of
the people. And as the gullible people were convinced somehow, they brought
them to Patnagarh and registrations of their land were completed till late
night and the farmers land was transferred to company overnight. Sources said
Mahesh purchased land on behalf of three companies.
Lingraj lost 5
.23 of land in this process including 1.5 acres of Bahal land which was also
sold in the name of Att land. When one day -he went to collect Mahul (Mahua
flower) from his field, he was driven away by the company agent saying that
land no longer belongs to him . This made him further depressed.
poor farmer, was who was managing his life somehow. He along with the others
villagers gave his land and as he lost all his land, he became mentally
unstable and died.
fraudulently registered people’s land in their name. This is not the only case
in Ghumer village .Villagers of Jaalpali, Aintulanga Ghunghutipali and
Telkhochhapar have also lost their land in this process. Moreover reports of
such companies purchasing land in Belpada and Khaprakhol have also been noticed
said a social activist Promod Bagarti. Lingaraj’s mother had died two years ago
in a state of extreme desperation as their land was lost forever.
thing came to light after the poor villagers were refused entry to their land
to collect Mahua flowers fallen there. The company officials told them that
they are taking their land on lease and yet they were debarred from collecting
Mahua flower fallen there.
approached us and narrated the entire episode and urged us to take steps to get
back their land, reveals Saroj Barik of NGO ADHAR, who is fighting the case for
these people to get their land back.
the district is at the crossroads. The Government is promoting cash crops and
this has provided avenues to multinational companies to grab land from gullible
farmers by offering different alluring packages. See the Ghumer case.
promised to set up dairy farm, incense stick so that people especially the
youth would get jobs. And once the Jatropha is planted it would start giving
them returns for 40 years. With the basic schemes of Government like PDS and
MGNREGA in shambles in the drought prone Patnagarh, the poor farmers could not
resist the ‘alluring offer’ and they become