The enquiry committee formed by the Agriculture Ministry on the suicidal death of two Santal farmers in protest against non-supplying of irrigation water in their land at a Godagari village detected negligence in supplying irrigation water by the concerned deep tubewell operator.
Joint Secretary (Fertilizer Management and Monitoring) Abu Zubair Hossain Bablu, head of the four-member probe committee, submitted the enquiry report to the Secretary Sayedul Islam on Sunday afternoon.
Abu Zubair Hossain Bablu mentioned irregularities in supplying irrigation water in the paddy field of the village was detected.
‘No register is maintained in case of supplying water. There was a lack of supervision. We have mentioned these in the report and made some recommendations’, he said. However, the probe committee did not mention anything about the deaths of the farmers.
Abu Zubair Hossain Bablu said they can not make any comment about the death of two farmers without watching the post mortem report.
Kafil Uddin, Head of the Forensic Department at Rajshahi Medical College, said that they had collected samples of various parts of the body of the deceased farmers.
‘Viscera reports are needed to confirm what they ate. As we do not have that facility, we will send the samples to CID’s forensic lab through the investigating officer of the case. After getting the viscera reports, we will be able to provide the autopsy report along with all the other information and data’, he added.
Nazrul Islam, a Chesmist at CID's Rajshahi Forensic Lab, said it would take about a month to get the viscera reports.
Earlier, on March 23, two farmers of Santal community - Abhinath Mardi and his cousin Rabi Mardi - drank pesticides at the BMDA deep tube well site at Isoripur village under Godagari upazila in Rajshahi in protest against the denial of water supply for their paddy fields by dep tube well operator Shakhawat for 12 consecutive days.
Abhinath died at his home at about 9:00pm on the day, while Rabi died during treatment on March 25. Following the incident, Abhinath Mardi’s wife Rozina Hembrom filed a case of provoking to commit suicide accusing BMDA operator Sakhawat as the lone accused.
The BMDA and agricultural ministry, later, formed separate committees to investigate the suicides of the farmers. Later, the BMDA authorities cancelled the appointment of Shakhawat as the deep tube well operator on Sunday after he was arrested in the case, amid protests from different socio-political organisations and professionals.