Suchandana Gupta | Apr 27, 2012

 BHOPAL: The sterilization fiasco in Madhya Pradesh refuses to die down.

Lamenting the decision of making his wife undergo sterilization two months ago, a 35-year-old man, father of six daughters committed suicide in Betul district on Wednesday. His wife, who went under the scalpel in February, alleged that her husband was promised a plot of land and cash by the panchayat secretary and sarpanch of the village in exchange for the sterilization.

On the woman’s complaint, the district administration has ordered an inquiry into the case. Kanchan Dongre, CEO of the Janpadh panchayat in Maultai said, “Action will be taken based on the inquiry report.” The police also registered a case and started its probe into the suicide.

Prakash Deshmukh, resident of Sandiya village, seven km from Betul town and 150 km south of Bhopal, consumed poison on Wednesday afternoon. Neighbours rushed him to the district hospital where he was declared dead. Deshmukh and his wife Kala worked as agricultural labourers.

In the beginning of the year, the state saw a sharp rise in vasectomy surgery numbers after chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan declared 2012 as the year for family planning and welfare. District administration officers went all out to fix targets for number of sterilisations and implementation. Reports of forced vasectomy and allurement to make people go under the scalpel poured from across the state.

Wife of the deceased, Kala Deshmukh, accused that her husband too asked her to undergo sterilisation after panchayat secretary Hemant Barde and sarpanch Vijay Thakre of the village lured with promises of a plot of land and money.

On February 14, I was operated upon. After that day, my husband kept meeting the panchayat secretary for the land and money without any success.

Panchayat secretary Hemant Barde could not be contacted but sarpanch Vijay Thakre said, “The couple have six children and have no money to feed them. We did not lure them with impossible dreams but informed them of the various schemes of the state government for BPL families.”