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Maharashtra Farmer’s Son Attempts Suicide After Govt Forcefully Cut Trees in his Land

48-year-year Raju Bhat was protesting against forced felling of teak trees which lie under power-lines’ towers.

A farmer’s son, Raju Bhat, reportedly consumed poison and attempted suicide in Palasgaon, Vidarbha on Wednesday, December 5. He has been admitted to the local general hospital for treatment.

According to a report in the Marathi daily Sakal, the 48-year-old Bhat attempted suicide following police and administrative officials of the tehsil forcibly cutting down teak trees growing in his family-owned land in the village. Reportedly, the trees were directly beneath the power-lines’ towers in the village.

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The report notes that the government-owned Power Grid Corporation power-line towers passed through the teak trees planted in the farm of Leelabai Bhat and her husband, Vishwanath Bhat. The company offered compensation to the Bhat family against the cutting down of trees. However, the report states, on account of the compensation amount being inadequate the Bhats raised a protest. Reportedly, they even filed a written petition to the concerned department.

Sakal, in its report, mentions that despite the protests of the family, on December 4, they received a notice from the police and the tehsil administrative office regarding the cutting of trees. Accordingly, on December 5 at around 11:00 AM, the trees were cut.

When Bhat’s protests against the trees being cut down were ignored, frustrated, he consumed poison. While the concerned farmers have lodged a police complaint in the incident, Bhat has been admitted to the Sindhi Primary Health Centre for further treatment.

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