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Farmer attempts suicide amidst threats from fishermen over land dispute

KHAMMAM : A 50-year-old farmer allegedly attempted suicide by consuming pesticide at his field in Banapuram village of Mudigonda mandal on Monday. It is learnt that some local fishermen had threatened to set fire to Seetaiah, the ryot, and his family members over a land dispute.

He is under treatment at a private hospital in Khammam, sources said, adding that the doctors have said that they would keep Seetaiah under observation for the next two days.

According to the sources, Seetaiah had purchased 5.3 acres of land, situated next to a water tank, from farmers in the Banapuram-Kamalapuram stretch five years ago and began cultivating crops. However, some local fishermen objected to it and claimed that the land around the waterbody came under the Full Tank Level (FTL) limits.

Seetaiah’s family members said the 50-year-old had bought the land after verifying all documents and patta papers from local farmers and mortgaging gold ornaments in the bank. A mandal official also conducted a survey and confirmed that it was patta land, they added.

However, some fishermen have been telling Seetaiah to give up cultivation on the land, the family members said, adding that the fishers had even threatened to immolate him and his relatives.

Early on Monday, a group of fishermen went to Seetaiah’s field with sticks and threatened him once again, the farmer’s brother said, adding that the 50-year-old was worried over their constant threats.

Meanwhile, based on a complaint by Deputy Executive Engineer (Irrigation) B Rambabu, Mudigonda police registered a case against Seetaiah. Khammam Rural Circle Inspector (CI) S Raji Reddy said irrigation officials filed a complaint alleging that the 50-year-old farmer was using sikham lands (situated at the tail-end of irrigation tank systems) for aquaculture. While cultivation is allowed on those lands, it should not be used for breeding, raising and harvesting fish, the CI added.

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