BHOPAL, MADHYA PRADESH: Dalit couple drank pesticide to kill themselves after their land was seized by the authorities and were being forced to watch their crops were bulldozed by the officials of the revenue department in Madhya Pradesh's Guna district.
The couple, Ram Kumar Ahirwar (38) and Savitri Devi (35) were also assaulted by police officers as they dragged them into an ambulance as shown in viral pictures.
In 2018 20 bighas (around 5.5 acres) of public land had been set aside for building a college, said the government.
Ram Kumar Ahirwar and Savitri Devi encroached the land and had been farming there for years.
Savitri Devi spoke to the media and said that they were working there for years but they don't know whose property it is. They also have Rs three lakh as debt.
After their crops were being destroyed by the authorities, they had no choice but to kill themselves.
Guna collector gave a clean chit to police - Our team had to act only after the couple consumed pesticide and had to be rushed to hospital, Had the team not acted, the couple could have died and more such cases could have taken place. @ndtv @ndtvindia#Guna @GargiRawat pic.twitter.com/8v0R1d0H2T— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) July 15, 2020
The pictures of their children crying out loud became viral.
They were taken to a government-run hospital and are now stable.
The couple has been charged but the police officers who assaulted them have been given clean chit. S Vishwanath, Guna District Collector, said that if the police did act accordingly, the couple would have died by suicide.
The administration also claimed that a local gangster was using the family as a chief to prevent the government from taking over the land.
However, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter as well as the removal of the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police.