Hyderabad: Tension prevailed at Vemulaghat village in Medak district on Friday after Malla Reddy, a 70-year-old farmer displaced by the Mallannasagar project ended his life by jumping into a burning pyre. He formed the pyre from pieces of old wood taken from his demolished house.
The Opposition parties and locals alleged that the state government failed to pay him compensation after demolishing his house for the project. The government claims he had been “allotted” a 2BHK house in the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Colony as per his wishes. Revenue officials allegedly played mischief.
The entire village had been evacuated by the government as it will be submerged by the Mallannasagar, which is part of the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project. The R&R Colony is being developed by the state government for the project oustees.
A large police force was deployed at Vemulaghat to avoid any incident after Congress and BJP leaders tried to enter the village and meet the victim's family. BJP Dubbak MLA M. Raghunandan Rao and Congress leader Cheruku Srinivas Reddy were taken into custody.
The oustees of the Mallannasagar project had been given two options —cash of Rs 5.4 lakh per family and a plot of 250 square yards at the R&R Colony or Rs 7.5 lakh along with a constructed 2BHK in the same colony. Officials say Malla Reddy had chosen the second option.
Locals said Malla Reddy has been facing financial hardships for the last few months. He lost his wife to cancer nine months ago. On learning this, the revenue department officials allegedly told Malla Reddy that he would not receive the house if he were to stay alone there. Two of his three married daughters have also died along with their husbands recently.
Upset and agitated over this, Malla Reddy collected some wooden logs from his demolished house on Thursday. Those who saw him doing this thought he was collecting the scraps to sell them but he lit the pyre and jumped into it.